CLEVELAND BOUND DEATH SENTENCE: Gateway Handshake: 7″

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like this 7”, but my pants and socks are still on after playing it. The first time I heard CBDS, they made me want to run around in half-naked pop punk celebration. It wasn’t only the ingredients (Paddy of Dillinger Four, Aaron Cometbus of Scooby Don’t, Emily of the Saltines, and pre-jailed Spitball of Oswald Armageddon), but the jaunty mix of these undeniably talented folks. It was four superballs bouncing around in this barely contained chaotic harmony that made me scream stuff like “fruit and vegetable stand!” and read up on foreign dictators. Gateway Handshake has the familiarity of a faded shirt, but the firecrackers don’t seem to be in the back pocket. Although good—and it comes with a killer children’s-book-for-adults lyric insert—it felt like four people getting together and playing out of some sort of obligation, or “Here, you play this part… no, do it like this,” instead of fun, spontaneity, and inspiration through and through.

 –todd (No Idea)