Featured Record Reviews from Razorcake Issue 98: El Banda, Cyanide Pills, Gino And The Goons, Midnite Snaxxx, Street Eaters

Razorcake featured record reviews issue 98 illo by Jackie Rusted

EL BANDA: Przejdzie Ci: LP
In 2006, El Banda, from Warsaw, Poland, released Przejdzie Ci, which—if Google translate is accurate—means “you will get over it.” Ten years later, Pasażer has reissued their debut, and the recently reformed group led a demonstration outside the Polish Parliament, protesting a proposed ban on abortion: El Banda still refuses to “get over it.” Resistance electrifies the album’s thirteen politically-charged songs, decrying the horrors of war, dehumanization, sexism, and urbanization: “Another skyscraper hurts the clouds.” Although nearly verging on crust, their music harnesses the fury of Harum-Scarum but mediates it with the polished execution of Refused. The melodic guitar riffs accentuate Ania Zajdel’s vitriolic vocals, and the propulsive drums never let up, leaving the listener exhausted. Whether it’s Poland or Donald Trump’s U.S., there’s a lot to be pissed about in 2017, and it’s galvanizing to know that El Banda is here to be a voice of dissent. –Sean Arenas (Pasażer, pasazer.pl)

EL BANDA: Wściekŧyszpaler: 7”
Harrowing and bleak, El Banda continues to churn out music that can transport you to the most nightmarish of locations. This long-running Polish band excels at producing straight-forward melodic, dark Euro punk with adventurous, captivating nuances. Highly suggested for fans of Arctic Flowers or Masshysteri. Their discography is an experience which most bands fail to comprehend, never the less execute. Couldn’t recommend this band more. –Daryl (Pasazer)

99ERS / DARLINGTON: Split: 7” 33
Christy Darlington was an enigmatic minor star of ‘90s pop punk; nobody could really figure out what that dude was all about (or was sufficiently mobilized to inspect the matter in depth), and I got to admit I giggled a little when I saw they/he were/was still at it, lo some twenty years later. Be that as it may, “Mars Rover” is like a dirty Archies song, so stupid and catchy and infectious that you’ll be singing it to yourself all the while you beat Christy’s face in with a waffle iron for writing it. “Dress Code” is a bit more on the nose, but still serviceable. On the flip, the 99ers—just two points off the torrid pace established by the 101ers!—sound like a newly-excavated link between Helen Love and the Queers, trading off girl/boy vocals not at all unlike the contents of a Fay Fife/Eugene box of Rezillo-flavored Nerds®, managing to name-drop Das Kapital, North Star Roller Derby, and the Mr. T Experience in the span of two songs. I hate to say this, but I think I love this. BEST SONG: 99ers, “Rude Girl T-Shirt.” BEST SONG TITLE: Darlington, “Mars Rover.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The first WFTDA playoff tournament game I ever announced was North Star vs. Grand Raggidy. ­–Rev. Nørb (Man Della / Ratgirl / Jerkoff, mandellarecords.com)

BREAKDOWN: ’97 Demo: LP
One of the most crucial hardcore demos of the late ‘80s finally sees 12” wax after being dubbed by tape traders across the world for the past three decades. There was a 7” version moons ago, but Painkiller and 540 have upped the ante, cleaned it up, added a live radio set, liner notes, and some well-worn memories of the band. This demo was the precursor to any heavy East Coast hardcore you have heard: thick and heavy mosh parts, guitar dive bombs, and fast and furious breaks. This shit was the blueprint. While all the suburbs were lousy with sports-gear-wearing straight edge dorks, Breakdown were the NYC deal. Songs about getting high and beating your ass. Hard music for hard people. Mandatory. –Tim Brooks (Painkiller, painkillerrecords.com)

CAREER SUICIDE: Machine Response: LP/CD
Ten years is a long time between albums but listening to Machine Response shows that Career Suicide has dropped seamlessly straight back into the hardcore groove. This is a band where power is attained more from sinewy muscle rather than being bulked up to the eyeballs on steroids. It’s no big shock that an outfit featuring Jonah Falco can write songs that take occasional tangential shifts like one of his other bands, Fucked Up, achieves, hence adding to the exciting musical escapades. “Blank Expression” is the killer track and at first I was convinced it was a cover but it’s self-penned and serves as a perfect example of the variety found on this album with a 1970s punk/new wave feel. A welcome return, indeed. –Rich Cocksedge (Deranged, derangedyouth@hotmail.com, Derangredrecords.com / Static Shock, staticshockrecords@gmail.com, staticshockrecords.limitedrun.com)

CINEMA CINEMA: Man Bites Dog: CD
This is like jumping into a ball pit at a sci-fi convention, only all the balls are freakish little orbs with eyes—murderous spheres from Phantasm, and Lament Configurations from Hellraiser—all the while lasers and smoke machines are going off. Listening to this record is chilling and dread-inducing, but you can’t turn away from it. Alongside those feelings of unchecked anxiety are alluring mysteries to uncover. I feel the same way with this record as I do the Blade Runner soundtrack. Am I making more movie references than music ones because of their band name? Probably. But it’s seriously like an audio version of Videodrome with a strong affinity for The Refused. I mean, there’s so much chaos going on here that it’s difficult to really capture it in a review. Hardcore break downs, speed metal guitars, creepy soundscapes, brutal vocals, evil laughter, saxophone, and more are there for the taking. I haven’t felt this ill at ease since I walked through a WWII air raid shelter alone in the tunnels of Cardiff Keep in Wales. My advice is if you can’t handle things that go bump in the night, don’t attempt this—even in the daylight. It’s art rock made by Cenobites and it fucking rules. All of this from a two-piece band is real impressive. Plus their album art is some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in a long while. –Kayla Greet (Dullest, Labelship)

CITY BUS HAND JOBS: Fast Dark Dirty Blues: CS
Winner of the “good band, bad band name” award for this issue, City Bus Hand Jobs play classic, straightforward, raw punk rock. And with a confident, controlled, but agitated swagger and a tone reminiscent of late Gits frontwoman Mia Zapata, lead vocalist Kaity elevates these songs and demands your attention. “Steady off My Feet” and “PCP” are highlights, though the entire album is worth your time. If you find yourself, like me, sometimes feeling as if the element that all of your favorite old bands possessed—distinct, strong vocals—is missing from most modern bands, then do yourself a favor and check this band out. I can’t wait to hear what these Canadians do next. Message to the band: it’s not too late to change your name! –Chad Williams (Self-released, citybushandjobs.bandcamp.com)

CONCEALED BLADE: Self-titled: 12”
I don’t know a good way to talk about this record without sounding hyperbolic. I don’t know a good way to touch on the “recommended if you likes” without having to say that they are actually better than their influences. This is twenty straight minutes of fucking riffs—any one of which would have individually been the crowning achievement of your favorite local hardcore band, but in the hands of these monsters is just another one in a series of slams and dives. Speaking of dives, there is a dive bomb every eight seconds. Fans of the band members’ previous projects (Creem, Hounds Of Hate, et cetera) would be at home here, but this is honestly a record I can put on to shut up the fake punx that tell me hardcore has been downhill since Age of Quarrel. –Ian Wise (Beach Impediment, beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)

CROWD, THE: Surf Ghetto Riot—Big Waves and Wipeouts 1994-2014: LP
The first time I heard The Crowd it was on a beat-up cassette gifted to me by my pal Dustin Jak. I was simultaneously thrown into a world of beach punk that I hadn’t heard before and introduced one of my all time favorite record labels: Hostage Records. The Crowd blew me away. They had so many albums, and for a band that had been around for ages, they sounded so fresh. I snapped up everything that came out, always waiting with baited breath for their new record that was always promised, but never appeared…. Until now…. Sort of. Surf Ghetto Riot is a comprehensive collection of rare, post-‘80s Crowd music. From long out-of-print 7”s, to compilation tracks, to never released recordings. I will go on record right here and right now to say that their cover of “Solitary Confinement” is better that the original. Hostage really pulled out all the stops on this one. Of course, I went for the “art damaged” version with the killer screenprinted cover, the “Beach Blvd. Blue” vinyl and the dust jacket signed by all the members from over the years. Those might be all gone, but there are other versions out there, and you know you need this in your collection. –Ty Stranglehold (Hostage, hostagerecords.com)

CRUSADES: This Is a Sickness and Sickness Will End: LP
Admittedly this is very selfish, but I just wish Skottie Lobotomy would sing in every band—not just the myriad of ones he’s already in. There’s just something so gorgeous and painful about the tones he carries, which is blissfully perfect for this third full length from Ottawa darlings Crusades. Well-known for challenging organized religion in their lyrics; as a whole, this record takes a small departure from that theme. It instead focuses strongly on grief, death, and remorse without a “higher power” to find peace with. In no way do they rest on their laurels, but instead amplify what they are aces at: building a wall of sound to create intense, atmospheric music. For those of you who want more of a return to their first record, “1866 (Porch and Portal)” is it. The track—just before it ends with stark guitar melodies—pulls in what sounds like a timpani that creates tension, and bleeds into a full-force pummeling with angsty, thrashy punk. Dave Williams is no slouch vocally either, and certainly brings this song to heightened aggression, before easing off the gas to end with a gorgeous refrain (“How long will / How long will we carry on?”) with stringed instruments. Each track is named after and pulls from poems that Williams handpicked as exemplary bouts with losing loved ones. The record as a whole is wonderfully cathartic. Two stunning color variants exist depending on what part of the world you order it from. Both come in a lovely gatefold vinyl with a full lyric sheet. –Kayla Greet (Anxious & Angry, anxiousandangry.com / Countless Altars)

CYANIDE PILLS: Sliced and Diced: LP
“Big Mistake” b/w “My Baby’s become a Right Wing Extremist”: 7”
Unfortunately, I’m just learning about this band. Goddamn, this album comes across as one long hook. Catchy and infectious with witty, tenderly crass lyrics. It picks you up and pulls you down in a way that only masterfully crafted albums can. Often times power pop’s “easy come, easy go” attitude can be its greatest attribute and its worst detriment, but with songs like these, this record isn’t going anywhere soon. Pick it up and have some goddamn fun for once. –Daryl (Damaged Goods)

DUCHESS SAYS: Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs / In a Fung Day T!: CS
Holy shit, Duchess Says may be my new favorite band. This two-on-one cassette reminds me of all my best ex-boyfriends: sexy, weird, and super fucked up. On the one hand, Duchess Says’ stuff sounds erratic and groovy, like Brainiac meets CSS. On the other, they sound like if Silver Apples fucked a demonic disco ball. These “Moog-punk” rockers from Montreal really got it going on, and they’re really hard to describe. So just trust me on this one. –Simone Carter (Bonsound, nextbigthing@bonsound.com, bonsound.com / Burger, burgerrecords@gmail.com, burgerrecords.com)

FUTURE VIRGINS: Dirty Smiles 7” Anthology: LP
Despite heaps of lavish praise foisted upon these cats in the pages of this periodical, I must admit I’d never actually heard ‘em. Can’t think of a better way to get acquainted than via a collection of their singles, like the album in question. Hearing a lot of interesting ideas bouncing about here—shards of power pop, late-‘80s Bay Area pop punk, raw ‘00s indie-punk—served up with conviction and serious effort given to ensuring each song has its own texture. At times I can totally understand how they ended up sharing a split with Toys That Kill, while at others I’m wallowing in the interlocking leads the guitars are laying down. Was a bit put off at first by their scruffiness (yeah, I see the irony in my saying that about a punk band), but the work that was clearly put in here brought me ‘round. –Jimmy Alvarado (Let’s Pretend)

GAP DREAM: This Is Gap Dream: CS
Has Burger Records crossed the Comic Sans font threshold? When something becomes so easy and fashionable to disparage that it comes full circle and is now even more compelling to defend? Has Comic Sans even crossed that threshold yet? Whatever. All I’m trying to say is that I’m a Burger hater but I don’t really hate this. It’s part Lou Reed-styled confessional psych pop, part retrofuturistic synth work (sometimes in the vein of that one sub-subgenre that’s made up of internet guys remaking the soundtrack to Drive), and part shimmering, straightforward indie pop. The latter is my favorite by far; “College Music” and “24 Hour Token” are some seriously catchy songs. Palm mute away. –Indiana Laub (Burger, burgerrecords@gmail.com, burgerrecords.com)

GINO AND THE GOONS: Bastard: 10”
Typically insane release from Tampa garage rock goofs Gino And The Goons, this new 10” is not for the serious. Adorably sleazy, they have the musical acumen to back up the absurdity. They are one of those bands teetering on exiting the underground music scene because they’re way too good to not have an exploding fanbase. This 10” is as killer as anything they’ve done so far in their decade of musical terror. Get on it! –Art Ettinger (Red Lounge, redloungerecords.com)

HEZ: Self-titled: 12”
Heavy and destructive noisy hardcore from Panama. This record moves along at a slightly-faster-than-mid-paced romp through all eight tracks and lemme’ tell ya’, each and every one is a total stomper. Reverberated and delayed vocals meander through the mix and the awkward “lead” breaks are just oscillating noise (from the guitar? I can’t really tell). The bass really holds the whole thing down, providing a lot of the melodic backbone to the songs while the guitar is pushed to the side of the mix. I imagine that the drummer is some sort of giant orc pounding the bones of an enemy soldier on a kit made of animal skin. Sonic references include modern Spanish punk like Glam/Una Bestia Incontrolable. This is supposedly pretty limited but readily available in the U.S. –Ian Wise (World Gone Mad, worldgonemad.bigcartel.com)

LA PÊCHE: Bright and Bending: 12” EP
A pretty all-star lineup takes up some good elements on this quick little EP. Singer/songwriter Krista Holly is joined by husband Dave Diem of Twelve Hour Turn, Jeff Gensterblum of Small Brown Bike, Drew DeMaio of Strikeforce Diablo, and vocalist Keio Ichinose to make five impressive tracks which whet the pallet for more, just like a good EP should do. The songwriting incorporates some good folk elements, especially the layered and harmonized vocals. Combined with lilting shoegaze-inspired production and some alt-country leads, Holly’s earnest and haunting vocals bring this to a place that’s almost like The Good Life, with moments of surreal beauty that is tinged with something harrowing. It’s a great guided trip through the discomfort of facing changing seasons and is a testament to what can be done with careful, potent songwriting that doesn’t need to be sparse to be direct. –Theresa W. (Bakery Outlet, bakeryoutletrecords.bandcamp.com)

MARRIAGE MATERIAL: Demo: CS
I’m writing this review on the anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain: one of this century’s most missed and renowned rock’n’roll figures who needs no introduction. Fast forward some twenty-plus years: punk has never been more relevant and while the mighty KC assured us that it was dead and gone, we can now only say that about him for sure. Marriage Material have unwittingly perfected the grunge rock formula with ease that only comes from years of involvement in their previous and current endeavors (Spokenest, Summer Vacation, Ah Fuck, Pinned In Place, Golden Beat studios, et cetera.) A saucy experiment of Sleater-Kinney and Pavement soaked in Bleach gone terribly right. Alas, grunge effectively ate itself and subsequently became a retro clothing style which was mostly due to disillusionment and greed. Marriage Material stand to gain nothing from playing this sort of noise except to make some stereo speakers rattle and some bodies sway to the beat. “Got no reason to get up. Got no reason to stay asleep.” Fuck, man. Same. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, marriagematerial.bandcamp.com)

MIDDLE CHILDREN: Earth Angel: LP
Within the first minute of “Baby Boom,” the wistful male-female vocals jubilantly erupt into a percussive, upbeat jaunt; winning me over. Then I read the insert and discovered that Patrick Jennings (Hot New Mexicans, Purple 7) and Ginger Alford (Good Luck, High Dive, One Reason) comprise the heart and soul of Middle Children. That’s when my hair blew back. Both Jennings and Alford, who plays drums, are low-key songwriting legends, and it’s totally acceptable to have any one of their bands be your favorite band. Middle Children is no exception. Although more understated and country-tinged than Purple 7 and Good Luck, songs like “True” and “No Shock There” linger, their hooks slowly sinking in and taking hold. On “Shit,” Jennings plaintively sings, “You’re not washed up my friend / I don’t think you’re wrong always,” nearly verging on Mount Eerie and Wilco levels of devastation. “Sister,” with its downpicked guitar and harmonizing lead, presents a more driving but equally introspective Middle Children: “I want to remember that my sister is still here and okay.” But the pièce de résistance is closer “Woods,” which boasts Matt Tobey’s (Good Luck) additional guitar wizardry and a high-spirited chorus that swells until the song abruptly ends. I’m glad I knew nothing about this record before I dropped the needle because I haven’t been this pleasantly surprised in a long time. –Sean Arenas (Let’s Pretend, letspretendrecords.com)

MIDNITE SNAXXX: Chew on This!: LP
Midnite Snaxxx continues to be the warm T-shirt you can put on since the day of The Bobbyteens seems to have passed. Chew on This contains thirteen well-crafted, snotty blasts of three-chord rock utilizing proper Ramones pop sensibilities. Theirs is a car that careens out of control on the three-chord highway. “All Fall Down” is a good example of the bass-punching melodies through overdriven pop riffs. But the more root rock-inspired riffs kick ass as well. The subject matter is the usual rumination on teenage angst that you are either currently experiencing or looking back on, ranging from “I’ve Been a Jerk” to “Quit Being a Dick.” “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.”–Billups Allen (Pelican Pow Wow, pelicanpowwow.com)

PERSONALITY CRISIS: Self-titled: 2 x CD
When you ask someone to name legendary Canadian punk rock bands, you will almost invariably receive answers of DOA, Teenage Head, Nomeansno, SNFU, et cetera. Those answers are surely not wrong by any stretch, but if you come across anyone even slightly in the know, the name Personality Crisis will come up. PC were Winnipeg’s champions of punk rock. Incredibly heavy and original, they straddled that sweet spot in the early ‘80s where rock’n’roll, punk rock, and hardcore all came together. They were destined for greatness, but instead tumbled into obscurity, with their one near-perfect album, 1983’s Creatures for Awhile disappearing for many years (bootlegs and one reissue notwithstanding) until now. Sounds Escaping has dug deep and struck gold! The first disc has the album in its entirety and two compilation tracks. This would be amazing enough, but then there is disc number two: fifteen tracks worth of studio demos from 1981-’82, much of which has never seen the light of day before. Everything is remastered and sounds better than ever. If you know the band, you’ve probably already have this or have ordered it. If you haven’t, you should check it out. I can honestly say I have never heard a band that sounds like Personality Crisis. –Ty Stranglehold (Sounds Escaping, soundsescaping.com)
PLURAL BEING: Demo: CS
Sometimes you stare into the bathroom mirror and contemplate the endless void that stares back at you. Sometimes you continue to scrutinize that void, pondering how humans continue to fill an unending hole with death, hate, and war with Sisyphean verve. Sometimes you know enough people in your small town that you go into the basement and translate that contemplation into sound and capture it on cassette. To be fair, this cassette has hit me on all the right levels after two weeks filled with international terrorist and American missile attacks. Plural Being makes ugly music for ugly times and we need that. Professional blue cassette with hard stock fold-out cover and lyrics. Members of Panzram and Merkit. –Matt Seward (IFB, ifbrecords.com)

PLURAL BEING: Demo: CS
Wow! Distorted and heavy stuff here, in the vein of Clickitat Ikatowi-era Gravity stuff, backed by hoarse, screamed vocals that are critical, literate, and (get this) completely intelligible. Each song operates under its own internal logic: complex and challenging but never show-offy or needlessly mathy. Structures aren’t readily apparent but are immediately rewarding regardless—and pay dividends upon repeated listens, once the structures and changes sink in. This is the kind of demo your car’s cassette deck wears out because you don’t want to listen to anything else. Certainly the best of the batch for this issue, and an early contender for demo of the year, no shit. –Michael T. Fournier (IFB, ifbrecords.com)

PUBLIC TRUST: The Leper: 7”
Can I go ahead and call record of the year? I know it’s classless to say something like that (how many times has that dumb joke been made in these pages?) but I don’t think I’ve ever been so charmed right off my feet by a new record like this since I was a teenager, and listening to this strange, irreverent record brought me back to the school days of discovering the likes of the Pagans, Kraut, and the Controllers via weird comps and the University of Alabama’s punk radio show, The Faster and Louder. Public Trust are a Boston-based (studio?) band featuring members of some hardcore bands that probably aren’t hip to like anymore, but these guys play pitch-perfect first wave American punk. The guitars sound like chainsaws cutting through wood that’s maybe a little too dense for the motor while the drums are stripped down, rock influenced and not “1-2” punches. The vocals are vomited up somewhere from the bottom of the singer’s throat. Lyrics discuss cigarette smoke, being a leper, and rolling your eyes at neo-nazis. This is all about “this is how my fucked-up mind works” and not “what can I do to appease the punks?” For us anti-social freaks who grew up listening to Killed By Death and watching horror movies on VHS, this will always be what punk is. –Ian Wise (Boston Strangler, funwithsmackrecords.bigcartel.com)

QUICK, THE: Untold Rock Stories: CS
These guys are a record store dude’s wet dream: exploited by Kim Fowley in the ‘70s, feathered hair, paved the way for L.A. punk, broke up and watched their peers get famous, a couple of their songs wound up as highlights on obscure power pop comps, and one of their ex-members went on to make the theme song to Friends. This super-catchy twenty-two song odds and ends comp features everything but this L.A. power pop band’s 1976 LP, and when “Hillary” came on, I said, “Holy fuck, this is good” out loud to my empty dining room. –Chris Terry (Burger)

RESONARS, THE: The Complete Resonars: 7 x CS
I’ll start by saying that somewhere out there is a person who can truly parse this complete Resonars discography (seven LPs, a handful of EPs, compilation tracks, outtakes), who can chart the growth from Bright and Dark to Crummy Desert Sound, who can speak to the reasons why the stunning and raw The Resonars On Tour! record was eventually scrapped. Someone can find the obscure references encoded in Matt Rendon and Co.’s sound beyond the obvious Beatles jangle and the general history of post-’60s psychedelia and power pop. Someone knows all the words. I’m not that person, but I will say that The Resonars are pure and true and real. They’re a big, blooming heart. That they made ‘60s garage pop records in the late ‘90s, well before there was a Burger Records scene/infrastructure to support them, is evidence enough that they’re legit. That they’ve been so consistently and evenly good, for years, up to and including their latest releases on Burger, without ever straying from the script, is the real revelation. There are bands who use genre as a jumping off point, who draw from the past and then seem to go beyond genre into their own singular identity. The Resonars commit in the strictest way to genre convention, and it frees them somehow, or perhaps: what’s satisfying is both the particulars of the individual song and the larger devotion to doing one thing the right way, every time. This isn’t remarkable in itself: crime fiction, westerns, bossa nova, soul 45s can all be pleasurable without being visionary. But it’s nice to be reminded. The adherence to rules can be gratifying, comforting. The simplicity can be the thrill. –Matt Werts (Burger, burgerrecords.com, Lolipop, lolipoprecords.com)

SEX CRIME: Self-titled: 7”
Synthy punky Pacific Northwest goodness. Like the Screamers raised a pack of riot grrrls on a steady diet of Los Crudos, The Dickies, and tall cans of Red Bull. Very fucking good. –Candace Hansen (Jonny Cat)

SPENCER MOODY AND THE ANZALONES: An Old Man Called Me Bud Cort: LP
Moody and another guy, Anthony Anzalone, do an LP’s worth of strained, snarling, lumbering rock songs, with Moody doing to the bulk of the instrumentation himself. With their cover of “Bird on a Wire,” and Moody’s well-known art-damaged persona and gravel-studded vocals, the Leonard Cohen comparison’s gonna loom pretty big, but that’s okay. A droning, spitfire collection of tunes that at their peak—such as the ballad-like “Worm Across” and the shimmering “This Is the New Age”—more than make up for the few moments of glaring cheesiness, like when Moody and Anzalone howl like dogs in one of the songs. Moody did a live cassette some time back, five songs with a full band, and between that and this LP, the guy is proving to have a significant number of solid, memorable songs in him. For the most part this is riveting stuff, definitely my favorite release this review cycle. –Keith Rosson (Let’s Pretend)

STREET EATERS: The Envoy: LP
“This album is inspired by the writing of Ursula K. Le Guin, mainly The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.” Le Guin is a radical science fiction writer who came to prominence at a time when few were flocking to the “lowbrow” genre—let alone women. Street Eaters, from Berkeley, Calif., which is also coincidently the birth place of Le Guin, is a drum and bass duo comprised of Megan March (Wild Assumptions) and John No (Fleshies). Although lacking guitar, Street Eaters still delivers a meteoric impact: the tom-heavy drumming, March’s full-bodied shouts, and No’s nasally yells flood each song with a frenzied energy. When they perform, a shared synapse fires and the married couple synchronistically wallop their instruments. On “Paralyzed,” No begins, “My legs are stiffening. I wonder why? / I sit all day in the still still air,” and March replies, “You sit and watch my motions / Follow my motions, feel what I feel.” The harmonious call and response encapsulates their unified attack, for there isn’t a single wasted beat, shout, or blown-out bass note. Every song, ambient interlude, and incisive lyric cuts to the bone and demonstrates that sometimes less is more. –Sean Arenas (Nervous Intent, nervousintent.com / Contraszt!, diyordie.net)

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