OBSERVERS, THE: So What: CD

Portland punk rock with that Colin kid on bass, who’s seemingly in about half of the fucking bands in the state. Portland, for whatever reason, is filled to overflowing with a plethora of four-chord punk bands that have the ability to play fun-as-hell, drunken, put-your-fist-in-the-air-and-sing-along basement shows and then just generally blow it when it comes to capturing that sense of fun and urgency in the studio (with bands like The Minds and The Epoxies notwithstanding). The recording’s way too compressed, the guitar’s bright as hell, and half the time the vocals are so full of reverb that it sounds like the dude’s barking in a garbage can. With a warmer recording (as in, maybe they sound better on vinyl) and a bit of diversity in the vocals, they could have a hit, but as it is, let’s just stick to the live shows.

 –keith (Vinyl Warning)