ERGS!, THE: Upstairs/Downstairs: CD

Jul 23, 2007

Wow, this record really snuck up on me. I’d been hearing a lot about the Ergs! around the Razorcake corporate compound (henceforth referred to as the Cake-Pound), so I was very excited to grab the review copy of Upstairs/Downstairs and proceeded to be disappointed… initially that is. I didn’t think it was bad by any means, but it just seemed kinda middle of the road at first. Then around the third or fourth listen I realized I really liked it and many of the melodies had subconsciously worked their way into my head. The best way to describe it is pop punk that’s mostly about girls with just the right amount of appealing nerdiness. My scientific proof of this looks like this: (((All+Jawbreaker)/Screeching Weasel)*Husker Du)Bouncing Souls)=Ergs! . A lot of tracks stick out as possible favorites including “Your Cheated Heart,” “2nd Foundation,” “Bike Shop,” and “Trouble in River City” but the undisputed king of the heap is “Books about Miles Davis.” The song starts out with just vocals and a lightly distorted guitar and perfectly captures a feeling of stagnation before busting out in a perfectly timed catharsis of drums, bass, guitar, and backing vocals for about two measures before settling back down again. The album ends with the eighteen minute title track (a Zen Arcade reference perhaps?), which is surprisingly not too hard listen to. The only misstep in the album is the countryish “Stinking of Whiskey Blues,” which isn’t a bad song so much as it throws off the album’s flow with its place in the track listing. This is a fun album that makes it to my recommendation list.

 –Adrian (Dirtnap)