T-TOPS: Face of Depression: 7”

Pittsburgh aggro-masters, T-Tops, go to great lengths to project the image of beer-swilling, bellbottom-sporting, porn-mustachioed men’s men, caked in grease and glistening under the sweltering summer sun while getting their Trans Am back in working order. Don’t believe their lies. Patrick Waters, Jason Jouver, and Jason Orr are black-t-shirt-and-jeans-clad music nerds just like the rest of us. No, there’s no arena rock to be found here: T-Tops play crushingly loud, sludgy noise that could make even the most jaded among us search for a sledgehammer to smash everything we own. The sonic assault of their four-song Face of Depression EP—which features two bonus songs if you download the digital version—rarely lets up. They could have called the record Songs to Punch Your Dad to, and no one would have questioned them. “Dead Magician” stands out as the most alluring track on the record proper—slamming into you in the pit and harking back to Nirvana at their most “fuck off”—but T-Tops are perhaps at their most punk on the digital track, “Girl Who,” which seems far too fun, rowdy, and delightful to be relegated to the bonus bin. We all seem to have more than our fair share of rage to exorcise these days, so big ups to T-Tops for this thoroughly cathartic collection of ragers. –Kelley O’Death (Self-released, t-tops.bandcamp.com)