OBSERVERS, THE: So What’s Left Now?: CD

Ho-ly go-d-dam-ned sh-it, this record’s fantastic. It’s denatured, so many of its elements are intentionally off-kilter, which may throw you off on first listen, but stick it out. The reward may just be your new favorite punk band. The singer’s got a mid-paced, almost operatic voice, which makes the vocals sound like a politically informed Damned. But they don’t take the easy cookie cutter route, because the overall effect is a new DIY band stepping on the toes of giants and getting away with it. The bass is thick and slabby without being fret-tastic wankery. The drums are slaps, punches, and tough love. The guitar is Dangerhouse’s barbed wire pulled tight, keeping the compound well protected; the band takes no easy outs. The lyrics are heartbreaking, expansive, and generous, focusing on promises upkept and decay seeping in. If some asshole’s shitting in your ear that all punk’s on a big stage and sounds like taffy coming out of some boy band factory, here is, yet again, proof positive that they have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about. Dig. A diamond.

 –todd (Vinyl Warning)