BIG CRUX: Ponchito: LP

This has “Minutemen” writ large across it in big letters, but don’t be quick to dismiss it as rehash. ‘Tis true they owe much to that much ballyhooed band of yore—the tinny telecaster sound, the song lengths, even their name I’m guessing was cribbed from a line in “Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing”—but they take that inspiration off in other interesting directions (choruses and bilingual lyrics that don’t read quite as much like blue-collar haikus, for starters) as well as mooshing in bits of other influences and sounds to brand the resulting output as theirs. While today’s prevailing trend seems to be to stick to pre-determined and pre-approved templates, it’s nice to hear a band that sounds like they’re trying to build a divergent path off a band that built a divergent path. This is aces, I can only see them getting better from here, and I bet they rip live. 

 –jimmy (B