Sing Sing Death House (Hellcat)
by Scott Hefflon
Punk rock. Not punkpop, and no emo dares to rear its sensitive little head here. This here’s mid-tempo rock snarl or frantic screamcore with enough melody and style to keep it far separate from a metalcore roarfest (honestly, much of that monotone grr-blur is so single-pitched, it has a lulling, calming effect that puts me to sleep. That’s right, tuff guys, I use your CDs to fall asleep when I’m sick of all that goddamn water crashing lethargically on sandy beaches). Interestingly enough, I’m getting serious flashes of what Courtney Love coulda been had she, ya know, stayed angry and vital. Some songs here have that same depressive lilt that whiplashes into a snarl that’ll level buildings, the main difference being Hole rock’n’nods in post-stoner grunge pop fashion, Courtney content to stumble around a bit, throwing the occasional tantrum, but otherwise looking like she’s kinda horny but ready to pass out any second. Not that that’s a bad thing, of course, but this is wound up a lot tighter, jumping & crackling like a live wire on the pavement.
The Distillers‘ singer Brody can fuckin’ sing, man, and she lets it rip, reminding you of whatcha always wished Joan Jett or Shirley Manson or fuckin’ anyone’d do, and that’s cut-fuckin’-loose, shake the walls, scare the cats, and all that, ya know? Brody can do that, and she does, breaking up the assault with some great rock singing, instead of the the other way around. Man, there are songs here that’d fit in, yet knock the socks off normal radio-listening chumps, but that’s exactly why they won’t get played: Music shouldn’t draw attention away from the ads. And most people don’t want their socks knocked off, cuz that makes ’em realize everything else in their lives is safe, spoon-fed, unchallenging drivel. Yeah, pop more Prozac, ya fuckin’ cowards…
(2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026)