4 out of 5
Label: My Pal God Records
Produced by: Pat Walsh
Angular, Discord-y punk rock fury, straight outta… Jersey?
Combining the angsty energy of such DC-label bands with bursts of guitar interplay that are suggestive of math rockers likers like Party of Helicopters, Quick Fix Kills figured out exactly how to sharpen the intriguing edges of their EP into the single throwing knife it could be, aimed directly for ear holes with instantly awesome hooks and always-on intensity. These are elements that were always in play, but instead of being overly clever with it – beyond the eye-rolly Minus the Bear song titles like My Scabs Look Like Art, at least – the group dialed in on riffs and upped the grinding bass lines and callback-style vocals; they pared the sound down to each of its essentials, skillfully mushed together into ten tight tracks which almost all cycle through fun extremes of near poppy hooks, breakout hardcore punk moments, and then some brash looseness, when the players collides for raw, purposefully sloppy splashes of noise.
The lyrics are… not too impactful, unfortunately, hedging toward vague, snarky sounding things that don’t paint much of a picture, but damn are they shout / sung with gusto. And the emphasis is needfully placed on momentum; when QFK tries to pull off a slower, building track in the album’s middle – Suicide Is So 90s – the sequencing is appreciated, but it’s definitely the album’s weaker track.
But this is the album that made me want to hear more from this group, and made tracking down the EP worth it, not something I’m sure would’ve worked in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, solid slabs of punk rock energy like Saint Something are also a rarity, and it seems we didn’t here from QFK after this.