Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sick Thrills - No Fashion on Eastern Watts Records

Eastern Watts Records throws in another curve ball, with this 10 song EP from Sick Thrills, who Columbus Alive calls a "debauched five-man squall", arose out of countless numbers of long running bands in which all five of these guys have played in together, or connected to somehow. Chris from EW heard some of their stuff and had to press this long player at 33. It makes perfect sense. You can hear the experience and authority in these tracks, it's not a blur of adolescent speed hardcore, but short measured bursts of danger.

(Reviewed in the same stuttery punches that the EP is full of.)

A-Side: How many songs can they fit on here? God damn 10 song EP. Somehow on No Fashion they keep this really relaxed and punk it out, not getting too speedy to just make it feel ludicrous, they've got a real melodic sense and even manage a solo. Love the production here, it's explosive enough and thin to keep it sounding budget and huge at the same time.
"Fuck Force 5" - Beefy, really thick, everything cleared out and professionally separated, but pressed and mastered in a narrow range to be still super melodic
"black and white" is really even going pop punk, it's sick they're getting such catchy shit with no space to spare, I can't get over it obviously, the vocals are even buried in the mix in that great chorus, this is another instrument kind of way. I never expected this to be fun party punk where the chords are driving this while saying, hey this is the song, that's it, start and finish.
"Drugz", they really can't quit, another winner of spitting "Drugs! Drugs! Drugs!" for the chorus, I don't know where this fits, its not that kind of english punk, and I'm not hearing DC hardcore or west coast anything, really carving out their own niche, and it's not my area of expertise, but it's really unexpected punchy pop punk, which normally The Hussy and Cheap Time are my usual points of reference.
"Reaction" gets a back and forth going with the band, but it's based a lot on the feel of the track not getting tied down to these lyrics, just making really dam fine brief punk that isn't going extreme just to get some attention, making a case for fast punk that is actually really great songwriting. Sick Thrills says: "This is possible guys."

"Lets get Fucked", slow phaser, muted chords, a big sound, getting anthemic, layers of distortion and they're balancing a raw hardcore, no frills sound with some real production, not ever feeling overboard but keeping it interesting. Big chord changes.
"Do what you want" bass-centric feedback, when this gets going there's a huge hiss in this left channel guitar that is really nuts, they're pounding it away. Still time for a solo melody in between chasing the chords.
"sick sick sick" phasered vocals? A clear sense of melody and this even sounds like something from Lost Sounds, those big chords and fucked up vocals, you know... trying to take it all to a fucked up place.
"Third degree" - they just keep up this impressive pace, and deliver on every track, a huge amount of these are just complete winners. Really great surprise.
Last one is a surf reverb that goes wildly punk, really great record all together, impossible to get bogged down with each track... an exercise infutility. They have a lot more to offer than just hardcore punk and the differences are pretty vast. So insanely long, you should be so lucky.

Get it from Eastern Watts Records, black vinyl, xerox sleeve, the way it should be. Only 150.

Stream the A-Side, from Eastern Watts Records

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