This is a weird lament. Razorcake has a large, widespread family of over one hundred active contributors. I’m not saying this as a boast. And the reason that we work with many of our repeat contributors is that we find them talented and agreeable. DIY punk is, at most, three degrees of separation. Keith Rosson of Neckties Make Me Nervous is a longtime graphic designer for us. We met years back at a reading at Reading Frenzy in Portland, Oregon and have remained in contact ever since. So, it becomes harder and harder not to critically access projects that our contributors are involved with because, in almost every instance, they are active parts of the underground. With fewer and fewer outlets even reviewing DIY punk nowadays, it’d be kinda shitty/dumb to ignore the very people we intentionally associate the closest with. End preamble. Start review. This is my favorite Neckties Make Me Nervous release to date. They’ve got a smart duct tape and nagging cough sensibility to the songs; the playing’s tight and leaves distinct whip-like marks. My only issue, echoing a sentiment of Otis Redding, is that there’s “too many fuckin’ words.” I’m all for words. The Minutemen and Fucked Up use a lot of them. But, even especially with The Minutemen who didn’t use verse/chorus/verse, they had this sense of beginning/middle/end, and imbedded inside was a hook, a blasting refrain. I can conjure up the words, and sing along to “Bob Dylan wrote propaganda songs,” after not hearing that song for months. Although Neckties have smart, sympathetic, and relevant lyrics, I’m having a hard time remembering distinct, repeatable refrain from them. Maybe I just want a little bit more Tim Armstrong in the monitor and a little less Noam Chomsky on the teleprompter, but I still think this is a very good record.
–todd (Code Of Ethics)