This is the sound of a scene celebrating itself. High-energy, catchy, oddly mature pop punk with a heavy, early SST-ish guitar tone. You expect to hear whoa-oh-ohs, but are pleasantly surprised when you don’t. A collaboration of zine veterans from the U.S., France, and the UK, Copy & Destroy does for zine culture what the Gooningtons did for pop punk as a genre. Inside jokes that make everyone feel “in” take playful stabs at zine clichés: excuses for zines being late, lists of likes and dislikes, click-clacking typewriters. My favorite track is “Up for Trades.” Every punk’s had someone try to swap a token for a work representing weeks of effort, right? Don’t toss this in the riot grrrl bin (though itis straight outta Portland) but its confessional style reminds me of “Musical Fanzine” by Team Dresch. Alex Wrekk’s (of Brainscan) vocals evoke Sheena of Lemuria. This isn’t a serious album by a band trying to innovate, but the warmth it’s suffused with cannot be ignored. I want Copy Scams to tour, because every show would be a party, but I can’t afford those plane tickets. The record comes with a fourteen-page zine and a download code, so I’ll have to imagine the fun.
–Claire Palermo (Lunchroom, lunchroomrecords.blogspot.com; and Bus Stop Press, [email protected], busstoppress.weebly.com)