Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last Years Men - Clawless Paw on Sophomore Lounge Records

I've been so focused on the Fat History Month full length Bad History Month that I might have overlooked this new single from Last Year's Men, a four piece out of Chapel Hill, NC. Chapel Hill has a long history going back even further than Superchunk with tons of late '70s punk coming from this part of the world thanks to all those damn college kids. These new punks came together a few years ago and put out a full length on Churchkey records, lots of beer and 3 years later herald this fine release on Sophomore Lounge.

"Clawless Paw" explodes, it's a smoldering, smoking pile that flares up, it hits an old battery or ziplock bag of gasoline and fuels the flames higher and higher. The crazy as hell acid trip drawing and lawless rock on all sides is like the Intelligence's san fran surf tinged garage sound. Throw in some White Fences with some of The Hussy's big pop punk sound. Starting off with a slow bassline and warbled electric GGreen comes to mind and his massively damaged chorus of layered distortion. These guys punch one after another like that hanging bag. The kick is positively shaking things taking over the frontloaded sound on this. Slowing down for a drawl verse, but it's not around for long, desperation and straight up angst, Sophomore Lounge has had it's hand lately in encouraging this particular garage sound of that Spider Bags single, alongside Nashville's Dead, the more the merrier. I'm staring at the thick, slightly opaque insert from Ben Carr, the ringleader of this swinging bare bulb scene as a soulful solo climbs out of this black, black sludge.

"What I Can Get" has a somber jangly electric setting a slow tone for the back and forth kick snare to work behind this in double time. A Big surf sound and that link wray moment of a solo, minor chord changes in a space vacuum Segall way. Lots of reverb and pop sensibility, even Ty's almost affected delivery, draaawwwn out vowels, playing with the loopy dynamic of quieter moments and the crash cymbals that play a big part in destroying that. Direct, simple sentiment right to the point, no time to mess with all sorts of nuance in a 3 minute song, heres the rub. Distortion and 4/4 timing, blues of the 10's, fantastic drug fueled blues of F.U.N.

Listen to them play the title track on this single at Slim's in Raleigh, NC. (Thanks Ash)

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