I can almost picture the record collection in a small room with the mattress and milk crates on the floor: Pine Hill Haints, Ham on Rye, Almighty Do Me A Favor. A forlorn, warbling echo. A loneliness. Half-filled cans of warm beer that get drunk anyway. An unfilled hole tamped down with cigarettes. And there’s a crossroads in the middle of the tiny room because something doesn’t quite add together to a larger sum. Does Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club hold the key? Does Chris D. have that missing piece of stained glass? Is this a job for the Flesh Eaters? All this encryption is a way of saying that Black Sparrow Press sound like seekers who haven’t quite found what they’re looking for. And if they broaden their spectrum, pay more attention to dynamics, textures, speeds, they may be surprised that all the parts are there; that they’ll come into focus over time, with repetition, with San Pedro-Mike-Watt-marathon-famous practices. There’s a lot of promise in this record, a promise that a more contemporary band like The Starvations were able to realize and make sound electrifying… here’s to seeking.
–todd (45 RPM / Geykido Comet / Something Dancey)