Eponomously title album of the year:
Now this feels like a throwback. But a highly welcome one. The eponymous debut album by a Washington DC trio composed of Ian Mackay, formerly of Minor Threat, Fugazi and The Evens, Amy Farina of The Warmers and The Evens and Joe Lally also of Fugazi and The Messethetics. This is sure to excite a lot of cooler than cool kids making their way towards or through middle age.
The record is oozing with unflappable, underground suss from its opening notes. This is a band made up of musicians with impeccable testimonials of lives spent on the frontline of Punk, DIY experience, and they're all far too good to make a bad record here. It's a lean quite excellent record without an ounce of fat on it, showing the kids that sometimes, just sometimes, mom and dad know best.
I'm not particularly an expert on the bands Mackay, Farina and Laly played in formerly though I have listened to a fair few Minor Threat and Fugazi records in my time. This seethes with plenty of their righteous disquiet. It also minded me of several of their precursors, or in Minor Threat's case contemporary or near contemporaries; Gang of Four, Wire, Mission of Burma and .Minutemen.
Mackay and Farina, who are also husband and wife, take turns on the mic, (can't verify whether or not Laly does), and all in all this feels like a genuine communitarian statement. Each song here hums with a palpable, nervous tension. There's no dip in quality control from starter's gun to finishing tape. Wire themselves already proved that age is no impediment for authentic urgency with their wonderful album Mind Hive at the beginning of the year and Coriky mine a similar seam of inspiration with equal purpose here.
Listening through to this has led me to take my copy of Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerad's essential chronicle of the stories of the pioneers of this particular American ethic, down from the shelf. I'll make my way through that over the coming days. Coriky makes an excellent soundtrack to the read. Punk's not dead. Why would anyone imagine that it should be, particularly in these pressing times, Coriky. Age shall not wither them.
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