Friday, June 12, 2015
VEXX: GIVE AND TAKE 7"
Disenfranchised, loud, and relevant, this four song mid-decade masterpiece caresses your inner sociopathic child while gently kicking in all of your teeth. An unnerving mixture of Legal Weapon’s Your Weapon and Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle creates the baseline for the unique punk sounds of this Olympia, Washington anti-rock band. The impeccable guitar playing of Mike Liebman carries the symphonic gutter bang that creates a perfect flow throughout this quick and essential listening experience. Bringing to mind the guitar and rhythmic interplay of Naked Raygun’s cult classic Throb Throb. Crude but sophisticated blue notes slide the sections of each song into an uneasy roar that hastily shows off the band’s uncanny songwriting ability.
The lead track “Black/White” comes booming in with a disheveled anthemic quality. Rock n roll firmly intact with late 70s punk sensibility, angst ridden melody is complemented with subtle pop nuances buried beneath the aggressive art scratched roar. “Sleeping in the Attic” follows soon after with beyond-cool delivery and diabolical catchiness. “Walking in the Rain” captures a mood of desperation and gloom. Starting with a goth-tinged intro, it erupts into an energetic build-up of searing guitar lines and a vocal that runs like mania-induced poetry creating imperfect perfection. The vocal harmonies blindside you with their clever placement. Layers of guitar and sleek soul-hardcore vocalizing elevate this composition to a genre of its own. Ending this addictive listen is the mind blowing “Flattened Scenes”. The rolling and bouncy grooves of this punker than punk track, take a slight rockabilly feel and overtly infuses it with a lethal amount of moody sewer glamour. Cranked to eleven and catchier than Ebola, “Flattened Scenes” will flatten your senses. In fact, Give and Take will give you more than you think you need and you’ll still be spinning in its cyclone of modern punk mastery.
Fear and Loathing in Long Beach