GIANT HAYSTACKS / YOUNG OFFENDERS: Split: 12”

Giant Haystacks: The cheaty math is a complex, clear, powerful distillation of Minutemen and Wire. Like grain alcohol, contained, you can see right through it; little distortion. But, when you twist off the cap and take a deep drink, that’s when things can get interesting, when things burn. Their five songs are simultaneous hand-wringers and hand-clappers. A dancing paranoia. A celebratory time with your head in an over-sized mouse trap, uncertain when it will snap shut. And it’s this garroting with a smile that makes the Giant Haystacks spurt far beyond a band that’s merely comfortably looking backwards through their musical rearview mirror. They have since broken up and some members have recongealed as The Airfix Kits. Young Offenders: This may sound horrible, but the Young Offenders make me so happy, that if I was shot in the back of the head during one of their songs, hey, at least I’d die with a big smile on my once-face. I imagine this was a similar reaction to people first hearing The Buzzcocks and The Undertones. It’s fast, poppy, and melodic, but the hooks are viral instead of sugar-evaporative. The heft and tumble are undeniably what keeps the songs clean and clangy, like rocks in a washing machine; polishing with each successive tumble on the turntable. Highly recommended.

 –todd (625)