SUPER BLACK MARKET: Will Sell Anything: CD

This one was hard to pin down at first—I mean, I was into it from first listen but couldn’t quite define why I dug it; there’s a slickness and complexity to it that would immediately turn a lot of purists off. Super Black Market’s drawing heavily from bands like Refused (in the moments where they go from stop on a dime hardcore shit, with strained, blood-gargling vocals, to quiet, verging-on-pretty musical interludes and actual, like, singing) and Jets Vs. Sharks (they’re writing songs that are managing to come across catchy as all get out, mercilessly catchy, but also filled with totally fucked time signatures and weird, discordant parts, without sounding like they’re reading the Cliff Notes to the Discordant Emo Band Handbook) and totally coming up with their own definitive sound. There’s such a danger in music like this, especially in the vocals, that are clear and discernable almost all of the time, of sounding a tad bit too radio-friendly. Will Sell Anything avoids that ugly pitfall with the fact that, despite its inherent toe-tapability, there’s something that’s just a touch creepy and dark about it, possibly in spite of the band’s intentions. Nearly every song has one or more of those moments where you just go, “Shit, that part rips”, and there’s an earnestness to the vocals, genuineness, that bands rarely seem to pull off. And they’re tackling some heavy stuff lyrically, with a certain amount of grace and guardedness, without coming across like you’re reading a text collage-poem or some kid’s acid-addled journal entry. Overall, it’s a complex and innately modern sounding punk record, one that thankfully comes just a touch short of being too slick and polished for its own good. Instead, it winds up being a record with the occasional honest-to-shit guitar solo that I can not only stand, but actually really, really like.

 –keith (Minnow)