Tuesday, September 23, 2014
X-Rays on Big Neck Records
I like when punk still has that homemade feel, if things are too polished it can lose the raw sound that can only happen in one take under less than perfect conditions. Like those home recordings on a four track in the bedroom, if you try to artificially recreate that feel you’ll immediately know it. Something will be different. You can hear it right away with the X-Rays, these guys pulled themselves together just long enough to write a single with alcohol fueling the subject matter and recording session.
On "Jameson Shot" the drums are on the edge of keeping up the double kicks and high hat hits, the vocals are buried and that guitar comes out as dirty as possible with massive burly chord changes and technical spikes between verses. Loud and heavy, repeating that title line at the end of every measure. Everyone has names like G-Man and Coop, the bendy guitar chords peaking out all separated, feels like they just stop for a split second in between verses to switch gears. “Shot! Shot! Shot! Shot!”. This implies that you're drinking at a bar, lining them up for friends with a fat wallet. And Jameson? Maybe someone knows the bartender.
B-Side" Drinking For My Baby" is a loungy hardcore number that starts with those grungy guitar chords, bass and kick all sticking together with Gary drinking for his baby, not because she broke up with him, but maybe she’s at work and someone’s got to do it. Eventually ending up in the studio with their constant drunken exploits. Holding it together for an hour or so before in various states of speed. Two lines; ‘Drinking for my baby’ and ‘Got a bottle in my hand’. Layered guitars in various distortions, thin and live. "Retaliate now!" in jangly chords and tight tom solo’s before the scuzz distortion lays in singing about fun and the line "I hate Retaliate Now!” if that’s a band - this is hilarious, and if they are musically quoting these guys then that's even better. Hard rock which goes back and forth between the relaxed garage and the murky hard metal, they can't help but be fast, mix things in a lump of thin fuzz and hit the changes.
From Big Neck Records. Available at Dischord.