SWEATSHOP BOYS: The Great Depression: LP

Sweatshop Boys are relentlessly miserable and I don’t know why I respect that, but I do. They don’t want to live, or can’t see any reason to go on living, and they live in their heads, and they eat dinner and they listen to Spazz and they feel like shit, and they possibly break up the band. I can’t think of a more relatable record, subject-wise. They partly do a kind of peppy British pop punk, sometimes in a “whoa-oh” kind of way, which can get tiresome. But they also slow down, and when they do, they become a bleak power pop band, which feels like their real strength. They’re capable of something broader and arguably more powerful when they pace themselves. They also add little touches—surfy guitar, organ, backing female harmonies (why aren’t Finger and Lady Ganja on every song? why aren’t they in the band?)—and those touches make all the difference in the world. 

 –Matt Werts (Rapt, facebook.com/raptrecords / Crapoulet, crapoulet.fr / Kuskus, facebook.com/kuskusrecords / Drunken Sailor, dunkensailorrecords.co.uk / Dirt Cult, dirtcultrecords.com)