|Artwork by Chris Shary
Silver Screams -- "Creep Joint Scratch"
The Washington, DC punk scene had its "Revolution Summer" in 1985, and Silver Screams from the Cambridge/Somerville area of Massachusetts has dipped into that musical era in the spring of 2014.
On this five-song EP, they're doing it right -- pulling from their past and giving it a shot of the present to keep us stoked on some punk 'n' roll tuneage. I won't name names, but the influences that I hear are so stellar that I'd feel unwitting if I didn't say something: let's just go with missionofUKsubhumans(canada), OK?
This record clocks in at 14:06, which is way too short. We need more from Silver Screams, so hopefully they'll pull away from their jobs and families just long enough to supply us with another five tunes -- or more.
"Infinite mirror ... on and on ... Infinite mirror... never a new dawn" -- thanks guys for having this stuck in my head. And that's a good thing!
Another plus is that TSOL's Jack Grisham has heard the band's cover of "Wash Away" on this record and digs it. Now that's how you finish a review.
Expired Logic -- "Dissolution Consensus"
This first in a series of four 7-inchers is a full-on ripper from this Seattle punk unit. If you like in-your-face tunes done Poison Idea-style, then step right up.
The musicianship is solid and the vocals snarl and yank you into Expired Logic's world.
They kick things off with the sci-fi, theremin-laced "Wrath of Mothra," which grabbed the attention of a promoter in Tokyo and landed the band a Japanese tour this December. While watching those monster movies as a kid on my black-and-white TV, I always wished for a soundtrack -- and this song nails it.
The last three songs touch on addiction, corporation greed and dealing with life's twists and turns while the guitarist lays down a variety of styles from crunchy punk to metalish squeals to some jazzy bits.
Singer Timm Shere, 46, notes about forming the band: "This was started as a recovery for me. I suffered a stroke six months before."
He added that the remaining limited-edition records will be released every 3-4 months, and together the covers will reveal the full artwork like a puzzle.
Bring it on, guys.
Voice of Addiction -- "Modern Day Meltdown"
This is definite Windy City stuff: hard, melodic and smart.
Self-described as "politically charged and socially conscious rock and punk," Voice of Addiction unleashed this four-song package last fall and it immediately brings to mind fellow Chicago bands like Naked Raygun and No Empathy with a dash of Bad Religion tossed in there.
Everything is done full-bore, from the chugging guitar that ventures into all territories and keeps you guessing what's coming next; to the tight, lead-us-into-battle drums; to the gritty vocals that splinter off into harmonies galore. This effective plan of attack works best on three of the songs, however "Same Old Song" could have clocked in earlier than a lengthy 5:02.
Lyrically, "Same Old Song" hits hardest with:
"It's not the same old song, of a life, that’s gone wrong
We're aiming at destruction of us all.
Why must we always seem to disagree,
The same problems affect you and me
Just do what you're told, and buy what you're sold!"
The band sings "We're all going down in the end" on the title track, but not before some VOA tunes are firmly stuck in our heads.