GALLOWS BIRDS: Quaranteenage Kicks: CD

Here’s your sleeper hit of the month, three dudes you’ve never heard of before recording on a four-track during a pandemic. These guys trot a nice line between harmony psychosis pop punk bands like the Beatnik Termites and mildly earthier characters like the Barracudas, with a dash of that low-budget brilliance of bands like the Kung Fu Monkeys just to keep things honest. This disc is loaded with harmonies, but they’re not necessarily always the drippy, slick kind—a lot of the time they’re kinda weird and cool and make you wonder how the hell anybody thought to combine those notes in such a nuttily effective fashion. There’s a song about a beach, a song about a GTO, a song about a Lambretta—I think a person with no previous shamanistic training could wield this disc like a talisman to ward off viruses and the attendant depression of isolation. That may be the entire point, actually. They wrap things up with a pretty darn capable cover of “Dance Dance Dance” by the Beach Boys—like they used to say about James Lofton, that’s a tough cover—and yet, amidst all this lethal canniness, somehow they never let you forget that they’re three guys recording on a four-track in the middle of a pandemic. Bravo I say! BEST SONG: “I’m So Unhappy for You.” BEST SONG TITLE: “My Lambretta.” I don’t know why. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The name of the font on the cover is “Will Robinson.” –Rev. Nørb (Rum Bar)