All squares, make like a tree. This split shores up two psychedelic, garage outfits out of Massachusetts with five tracks a piece. First up, Greasy Whistles, comprised of past members of The Maine Coons and Closet Fairies, serve up lo-fi power punk. The recording quality could use an overhaul, leaving the vocals on the first three tracks sounding as if they were streaming through a soup can telephone. But don’t let that break you. “Incandescent Lights,” “ManCave,” and “Smudge Your Makeup” tool nasally choruses sang ad infinitum that ought to stoke the flames for a new generation of reefer madness. Once the recording gets upgraded, these cats should be sittin’ pretty. On the B Side, The Little Richards goose step it wild-eyed, taking the base elements of pop punk and running with it. Now I’m still mourning the loss of Tommy Ramone. I’m still getting used to the idea that the original Ramones lineup is dead and buried when all of The Rolling Stones (save for Brian Jones) are still shuffling their boney carcasses around the globe. Now I’m not going to say something as stupid or as trite as, “The Little Richards are the next Ramones” because there will never ever be another Ramones. But their energy is reminiscent of the moppy-haired boys who practically trademarked skinny jeans and leather jackets. Building on their demos of simple 1-2-3-4 power chords and rhyming lyrics fueled by LSD and girls, these new tracks experiment with different time signatures and rapid fire “m-m-m-my”s on “My Mouth,” instead of the dreamy “oh, oh, ohho”s of songs past. “Caffeine Fiend” is a teeth-grinding love letter to the most loveable legal substance, while “420 Girl” and “Reefer Sadness” show off the boys’ charming songwriting humor. Tight, fun, hilarious rock’n’roll. Recommended.
–Kristen K. (Dead Broke)