Skinny Genes skillfully repurposes a traditionally teenage genre for the quarter life crisis or dirty thirty dread, complete with Simpsons references, but leaving the pizza and disdain for one’s hometown behind. Instead, late twenties anxiety around making it, fitting in, working shitty jobs, and juggling fair weather friends takes over. Meh takes the earnest hardcore of New York peers like Iron Chic, ups the pop quotient, and suffuses it with the emotive disaffection of Weezer. Skinny Genes is Azeem “Ace” Sajid, a key member of beloved pop punk stalwarts House Boat and The Steinways. On Meh, he steps out and literally does it all himself. Ace sings and plays all of the instruments on each track, showcasing his impressive mastery of songwriting. This guy knew exactly what sound he wanted and how to create it, cranking out intelligent bubblegum with a wry sense of humor. “Comfortably Dumb” and “No Service” are standout songs, both featuring memorable and reassuring lines like, “I suck at being a grownup,” and, “Should have known I’d fuck it up somehow.” I hear influences from the Lookout! Records portfolio here, particularly the Queers. Meh moves at an obscenely fast clip, gripping the listener’s attention with urgency. It’s as if this record was made by an otherwise milquetoast nerd guy who is accustomed to bottling up his emotions, but one day, he just couldn’t take the wage grind anymore and walked into the studio. This is a perfect record for getting oneself out of self-doubt fog on a shitty day, and I look forward to hearing whatever Ace churns out next.
–Claire Palermo (Bloated Kat, [email protected], bloatedkatrecords.bandcamp.com)