Another challenge of not being a “record reviewer in the abstract”—like being behind the digital curtain and protected by the irony-and-diction-laden formula of “rock journalism”—is that I tend to actually know not only the people in the band, but the person who mastered the record (Dave Eck), the bands musicians were in before they were in this band (Radio Reelers, Swingin’ Utters, Western Addiction), and, shit, I’ve even seen the bands live that they cover (Slaughter And The Dogs). All of this is the opposite of name dropping. It’s just from close listening to records and being an actual, contributing member of a community, not commerce. That’s it. I don’t want to be a dick and I don’t want to be dishonest. The Complaints are continually getting better. My two cents is that I still want more thud and crunch because what I hear is simple punk rock’n’roll. And if we’ve ever learned anything from Motörhead is that it doesn’t have to be flashy or prancy poetry, it just has to feel like you’re on a freight train about to run off the tracks. More danger, please.
–todd (Modern Action)