GRABASS CHARLESTONS/ BILLY REESE PETERS: Split : CD

Fuck yeah. During this rotation of CD reviews, I though to myself, “Am I being too harsh? Am I becoming a flapping cockhole critic who can’t hear good in front of him? Why am I not liking a lot of bands I’ve never heard of?” That ends here. Both of these bands are great, and for reasons I can’t explain, the Grabass Charlestons win by a nose. (There are overlapping band members between the two bands and it gets confusing who hootenannies from one band to the other, even after it was explained to me that Will Beltone drums and sings on the first seven songs. The fact that the entire album repeats itself confuses my simple brain even more. But after a lot of deliberation, you know what? It doesn’t matter.) It’s prototypical (not to be confused with predictable) Gainsville punk – and what that means to you is that they’ve got an inherent love (either subliminally or explicitly) of Leatherface. They fit right into the pantheon/fireside ruckus of Panthro UK United 13, Radon, Dillinger Four and The Beltones. The music zings and crashes around like a drunk, sloppy, happy gang of friends that stomp on fires holding uncapped gas cans above their heads. Happy, strong combustion, pure and simple. It’s made by people who could give a fuck about being fashionable and can pull off Cheap Trick’s “Hello There” like they wrote it themselves. Take, for instance, what I pose is our generation’s “Pinball Wizard.” (Join along in this exaltation if you consider your generation having nothing to do with mall mentalities, music on the radio, moving units or Soundscan, just the love of loud, raw, fun music that ain’t afraid of thinking as much as drinking.) “Galaga Wizard” has got all this boy needs to fuel his brain and make him hoarse from shouting along. It follows a protagonist being picked up in a limousine full of dignitaries and “neon girls, minor legions with cocaine pearls,” pissed that he’s called an amateur, then locks into the world of the game itself, as “them falling bees is looking fucking scary,” ending, no less, with “it’s some sacred shit to be spreading ‘round.” It’s cool because it’s about playing a video game, but works on so many different levels, like meeting expectations, forever tagged as the underdog and not only being ready to prove yourself at any time, but succeeding in the world you’ve created. That hits so close to home, it’s not even funny. I can’t think of a higher recommendation for this CD.

 –todd (No Idea)