NOTCHES: Almost Ruined Everything: LP

Sep 17, 2018

Friends’ bands in Worcester and New Brunswick played with these cats recently, so I tracked ‘em down and hey: Notches live in Dover, N.H., a town where I lived for a while in college. My Dover days were during the height of both New Hampshire-based Ringing Ear Records—who put out great records by, among others, Sinkhole, Doc Hopper, and New Sweet Breath—and the Elvis Room in Portsmouth, the dearly departed coffeehouse where I saw a zillion bands (including but not limited to Boris The Sprinkler, Jawbox, Giants Chair, and Man Or Astroman?). I mention all this because it’s easy to imagine Notches as seamless fits into that old Elvis Room/Ringing Ear scene: their thickly fuzzed hooks remind me of some of that old stuff. Outside of their geography and associations (and what might rightly be called nostalgia on my part), the songs on Almost Ruined Everything pick up where the band left off on their debut long-player High Speed Crimes. They switch off on vocals and meld sweet (like sugar) riffs and chunky heft, again providing song after song that got stuck in my head after a single listen. I love when bands compel me to buy shirts and drop their name to all my friends. Notches is such a band, and it’s been their records which have been the soundtrack to my summer—and hopefully, now, to your fall. –Michael T. Fournier (Salinas,