In my mind, the Grabass Charelstons have reached the level of Rocket From The Crypt, Tiltwheel, or Fugazi. I’m willing to follow ‘em to places I probably wouldn’t go by myself and I find myself being constantly rewarded by the journey. Ragin’ full-on punk, this isn’t, but how can one discount heart-felt, original music made by solid gold dudes? Grabass fights and fights; they know the score often before lacing up, gets their asses handed to them on occasion, and they dust off, and come back with secret hooks and crooked smiles. It’s this scrappy, for-the-music quality that makes me, less and less, able to critique their songs and just let them soak in, note by note—like every other song they’ve ever written, it seems—and let them reveal themselves on their own time, play by play. It’s been several years since I was first exposed to them on their split LP with Billy Reese Peters, and since I haven’t tired of listening to them yet, I doubt I ever will, and that’s a monolith of a recommendation. This batch of four (one’s a Guided By Voices cover) is full of destructive feelings—somehow making suicide not seem so bad and dark—brightly played.
–todd (Barracuda Sound)