ERGS!, THE: Hindsight Is 20/20, My Friend: 2 X LP

I call bullshit on the title. The Ergs!, to me, always had better eyesight (musically, not optically) than most bands. From the first time I heard the Ben Kweller EP, it was obvious that these guys were doing far more than just flaunting the bare minimum of pop punk flair. And to borrow a Maddy cereal analogy, as a vast aisle of pop punk had found its boxes open and its marshmallow bits stale from overexposure and passing their “please open by” date, the Ergs! skirted that dusty crumble of a career path by stretching to SST and New Alliance, and were unafraid to uncork a hardcore blast then lay back into a country groove. And they did this while never losing their own identity as a band or sounding like an absolutely shitty joke everyone’s waiting to end. At the time they found themselves on Razorcake #23’s cover, few folks on the West Coast had heard of them. When Megan Pants interviewed them, they were sorta baffled why someone three thousand miles away from New Jersey would even care about a nerdy trio. So, I feel sick to my stomach. Because—wrong or right—I still consider the Ergs! a new band, a band that held up one of the torches of a new vanguard of punk’s possibilities. I mean, I should be happy for them, blow a paper horn, like at a retirement party. They’re going out with a bang of a collection of their widely scattered vinyl offerings in a handy and attractive gatefold, in a Grand Funk Railroad-style double LP. But I’m not ready to be rememberin’. I’m ready for the next full length. I’m ready for an Ergs!-themed cereal (probably on the lines of Cröonchy Stars). I’m ready for a line of Ergs!-inspired poorly fitting eyeglasses. One of the foolish pitfalls of being a music reviewer is transposing one’s own will and wishes as a serious directive to a band, especially a band that I’ve learned from and listened to so much. So, besides suggesting the title should have been Foresight Is 20/10, I wish them all the best and hope this knot in my stomach lessens up soon. I feel like shit.

 –todd (Dirtnap)