This Cincinnati trio call themselves punk, but from their debut 7 (with free mp3 download codes) on industrious Queen City label Phratry, theyre the less traditional/stifling kind of progressive punkin the schemata of Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Big Boys, Big Black, Gang Of Four, Fire Engines, and further back, Captain Beefheart. Which is to say theres some righteous punk-funk careening out of both Party Lines and especially the harder, faster flipside Yr Garbageonly Jerome Westerkamps raw, rhythmic, shouted vocal adds the advertised hardcore flavor, other than the wired, furious belligerence. Much as I like Franz Ferdinand, they [Franz Ferdinand] sound Izod-casual compared to these speed freaks of jagged guitar, fuzzed-fast bass, and dashing, dancey drums.
THE BIG TAKEOVER/Jack Rabid
The first thought that ran through my mind when I put on this 7 was, Q And Not U reunited and changed their name. After looking into it more, I found out thats not true. However, these guys [Phratry] do cite Q And Not U as a comparable sound. The Read has the whole dance punk thing going for them with that strange Dischord guitar riffage sound intermixed into it.
The latest from The Read offers up a pair of high energy, frantic indie/skronk rock featuring clean yet fragmented guitar parts, and intense vocals. Quick and to the point these songs come across as walking the gray area between fragmented dissonance and melody with a rough around the edges approach that calls to mine both elements of late 70s post punk as much as early 2000s indie/noise rock. This single takes a different tack on how underground rock can still be melodic while not being pop.
THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL
Holy Q and Not U worship! Bass heavy dance punk with wirey hook-driven guitars and slighty-snotty yelped vocals. I mean, sure, Q and Not U got it from Gang Of Four in many ways, but with the generation gap this band seems to pick up right where No Kill No Beep Beep left off rather than checking into Entertainment first. Im not necessarily complaining because theyve released a couple good songs here. But man, the influence here is pretty obvious!
Its kind of emo-ish hardcore thats mathy with disco drums.
MAXIMUM ROCK N ROLL #321
The bass and drum grooves are heavy, and the guitar contributes jarring, jagged melodies and chords to propel the songs. The band is extremely tight, which is how theyre able to make solid dance-rock without any mention of synthesizer. Both Party Lines and Yr Garbage deliver a significant danceable edge without compromising any of the DIY grittiness that Phratry Records espouses. A big element of that DIY grit is The Reads lyrics, which are socially and politically motivated. Another element is the vocals, which are not standard. Theyre low, gruff, and occasionally a-melodic, but not in a spoken way. Its something you have to hear. It sounds great in the context of the Reads music. This is a really tight, enjoyable release. Id love to see the Read live, as Im sure that show would be a heck of a lot of fun. Its the first time Ive ever heard dance-rock on vinyl, but theres a first time for everything, right