Hurry Up – Dismal Nitch

4 out of 5

Label: Comedy Minus One

Produced by: Evan Mersky (recorded by)

The greater sum of some already great parts, Hurry Up very audibly carry The Thermals and Bangs heritages of their bandmembers – Westin Glass and Kathy Foster from the former, Maggie Vail from the latter – but evolve it all into a great slab of poppy punk that gets to cover all sorts of modern-day commentary and relationship angst and musically wiggle between biting riffage and the catchiest of hooks, recorded with a perfect local band rawness by Evan Mersky.

We start, of course, with a mantra: stay weird! …But even this is wound around some gaze-into-the-mirror snark, questioning what, exactly, we’re celebrating, a darker theme that pops up throughout many of the tracks – rebel rebel, but with some mindfulness. This is divvied up by some reliably relatable relationship / individuality rants, with the trade-off vocal / songwriting duties of all bandmembers keeping the tonal metronome pinging back and forth from rah-rah to more literate diatribes, the music always kept front and center to guarantee that no track is without a damned catchy hook.

Some of the usual hitches of punk remain – a couple of tracks’ riffs are interchangeable (don’t feel bad if you start singing the chorus from one song, then realize it’s actually a different one) – and though the lyrics are always written and delivered with passion, it feels like we get a little stuck on negative observation without focus on what comes after that, i.e. it’s all a little cynical. However, the musical legacies of Hurry Up have absolutely sharpened this thing up to be as precisely rocking as possible, and anytime my rah-rahs start to dip in enthusiasm, the next track jumps right in with another toe-tapping hook and singalong chorus.