SMUT PEDDLERS: Exit Plan: 7″

In the spirit of full disclosure, Julia, the drummer for the Smut Peddlers, helps us out with making sure our covers are correctly prepped for print, so there may be some favoritism. That said, I was a fan of the band prior knowing her. In true punk OC, the land where few bands last beyond two records, I can honestly say that the Smut Peddlers are putting together the best songs of their decade-long career. John’s vocals and lyrics are still simultaneously hilarious, kooky, sad, angry, and oddly insightful. The only thing a veteran Smut Peddlers fan might wrinkle an eyebrow over is that his vocals seem more intentionally tattered and roughed-up on this 7” than before. But his lyrics are a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of a frontman with bad balance. If you ever want to see how paranoia, love of older ways of life in a beach culture, and an obsession with skating pools works out in punk songs, look no further. Although I always liked Roger Ramjet’s single guitar work when he was in the band, the addition of Sean and Scott, both at guitar, really ratchets up the melodies and anxiety. Almost secretly, behind all the obvious stuff, Julia’s drumming cements these three songs, like a perfectly poured and groomed transition in a deep bowl, giving them the perfect, pumping material to carve through song after song. Recorded, engineered, and produced by X’s Billy Zoom. Thumbs up.

 –todd (Ransom)