Living Targets (Epitaph)
by Scott Hefflon
If you think Epitaph punk these days is all too-cool Mod tiptoeing/angular-jerking, check out a few slabs of Beatsteaks (but not the single, “Let Me In,” which is kinda distant and cool, despite the howling chorus that reminds me of less wall-of-guitar The Sheila Divine, which it finally builds into). This Berlin-based band is sure to never hit it big with the trendies, but anyone who likes the dark rockin’ of the Dwarves (mid-tempo, lots of guitar noise, melodic but not pussy vocals, and a tendency to roam the streets, wasted and lookin’ for trouble, secretly wishing to be with that special someone who’ll have nothing to do with you cuz yer such a drunk asshole), is sure to find a few things here to punch mirrors to.
And surprisingly, the powerpop of “Sooth Me” strikes me like Smoking Popes or something, again with The Sheila Divine’s simple strumming and poignancy, and none of the slickness that ruins most touching music. Produced by ex-Faith No More bassist Billy Gould. Fave track: the soulful “Above Us” which follows “Sooth Me,” perfect for whisky-drinking, soul-searching, and bar-pounding promises to yourself.
(2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026)