YOUR PEST BAND: Old Springhead: 2 x LP

Aug 02, 2017

Double LPs are often a gamble. Either they’re a winding road worth traveling (Double Nickels on the Dime and Zen Arcade come to mind) or a grueling experience that would have benefitted from heavy edits. Your Pest Band’s Old Springhead falls somewhere in the middle. I like Tokyo’s Your Pest Band. I’ve enjoyed (and reviewed) a handful of their releases, but their brand of vocal cord-shredding garage pop can be exhausting. Listening to all four sides back-to-back made my brain hurt. There are clear highlights, though. Side A’s “Found Out” is a heartfelt pop gem, with the right amount of attitude, while Side B’s “Exits” and “Still Alive” spit and snarl like Teengenerate. “Panama,” a scorching rager, kicks off Side C, and “Wheels” might be the most lush and hypnotic song Your Pest Band has every written; its ‘50s pop melodies warm me up like a blanket. However, Side D’s “Swell,” the fifteen-minute penultimate track, doesn’t do it for me. Although at times astoundingly epic and dense, it’s equally tuneless and tedious. If Your Pest Band had jettisoned the filler songs, then they would have had a killer LP on their hands. As it is, Old Springhead felt like an endurance test—that I failed. –Sean Arenas (Brassneck, / Dead Broke, / Snuffy Smiles)