Monday, March 29

All You Need Is Love Is All

Artist: Love is All
Album: Two Thousand and Ten Injuries

Comments: Considering how quickly the turnaround from indie superstar to trend has-been can occur, it is nice to have a band one can rely on.

Love is All is such a band. Their third album Two Thousand and Ten Injuries continues a trend of quality and reliability that surpasses any other blog band around.

A quick history: the band emerged with Nine Times That Same Song in 2004, a record that mixed 50s girl-pop with fuzzy art-rock and featured songs almost exclusively about relationships and the like. Their followup A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night came out in 08 and while it featured a few more disco numbers, it was essentially the same album.
Two Thousand isn't a big departure, sound wise.

Lead singer Josephine Olausson is still as vocally dexterous as ever, warbling adorably when need be and giving her Swedish accent a harsh punch when the song calls for it (doing the former on "Never Now" and the latter on "Bigger Bolder"). Nicholaus Sparding still anchors the band with his jumpy guitar licks and well-placed backup vocals. Songs still sound like they were recorded in a reverb factory, jumping from mopey sadness to righteously indignant at the drop of a hat. Sure, there aren't as many horn songs this time around (A Hundred Things was horn crazy in the best way), but that only means the guitar gets a bigger slice of the rock-pie.

The untrained ear might be tempted to write off Two Thousand as more of the same. While there are occasional songs that sound like re-treads, by and large this album represents a strengthening of what makes the band great.

The 50s doowop vocals are as strong as ever, making Love is All sound like some kind of bizzaro Beach Boys (especially on "Early Warning" and "Kungen.") The lyrics are tightening up, too. No one does heartbroken like Olausson; her songs have an honesty and simplicity that other bands would be wise to take a que from.

While slightly more rocking than previous efforts, Two Thousand and Ten Injuries is no stadium rock record. Rather, it is a different take on the bedroom album. Good as a heartbreak-balm, an above-average way to spend a night in bed or just something to dance with your special lady / man / whatever to, Love is All's latest proves that they can be counted on to bring quality pop, no matter what.

Key Tracks: Repetition, Less Than Thrilled, Kungen, Never Now

Buy, Steal, Skip: Buy

Sunday, March 28

Low-Class Victory Lap

Artist: Drive By Truckers
Album: The Big To-Do

Comments: Fresh off their 2008 career revitalization album Brighter Than Creation's Dark, The Drive-By Truckers are back with The Big To-Do, an album of beer-swilling southern rock music that suggests everything will be OK even when the lyrics remind the opposite.

Seriously, if you ignore the lyrics, this is one shit-kicking, good time record. Classic rock arrangements, complete with Lynard Skynard guitar solos, pop hand claps and Springsteenian keyboards explode out of the tracks, giving way to images of crowded clubs packed with sweaty, dancing people chugging bud light and trying their damnest to have a good time. Half the fun of The Big To-Do is getting to hear the band do its thing: there are too few rock band left that can play this sort of music, and even fewer that can play it as well as The Drive-By Truckers.

The other half of the fun, however, is in the unfolding of lead Trucker Patterson Hood's tragic stories. Turning his focus from his own personal life (a subject he covered pretty well on Creation's Dark), Hood tells stories of a sexually abused preacher's wife ("The Wig He Made Her Wear"), a boy waiting for his “pilot” father to come home ("Daddy Learned To Fly") and a criminal who better be dead, or else ("Drag The Lake Charlie").

Like all great storytellers, the Truckers succeed in the little details. For example, the excellent "Drag The Lake Charlie" would be a sweet little pop song even without snapshots like this one: “Remember what happened last time Lester went on the make/ I heard it took the cleaning crew two weeks to clean the bar / they never found that teenage girl, they never found her car.” Dark touches like that one really sell the stories, make them something more than simple pop songs, something closer to actual literature, or at least one-act plays set to the best bar band you've ever heard.

As The Big To-Do unfolds, with its swelling solos and stories of tired strippers and trophy wives, it does tend to run out of steam. Out of the album's 13 tracks, the last three are the weakest. But of the other 10 tracks, no less than seven are dick-swingin', beer chuggin', life crushingly depressing romps through lower-class America.

Indeed, this music isn't so much about location (Southern Rock / Northern Rock, whatever) as much as it is about the haves and the have nots. Right now, there isn't a band alive that understands the struggles of the latter quite like the Drive By Truckers. There isn't a band around that makes their trials sound more fun.

Key Tracks: Daddy Learned to Fly, Drag The Lake Charlie, The Birthday Boy, (It's Gonna Be) I Told You So

Buy, Steal, Skip: Buy

Thursday, March 25

(Indie) PROG ROCK!

Artist: The Besnard Lakes
Album: The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night

Comments: Before the Besnard Lakes came along, I was sure that I knew what prog-rock was.

Not that The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night has really changed my total perspective. I still think that, by and large, prog-rock is a genre sick with technical prowess and little regard for what actually sounds good to human ears (it's that old jazz argument: you have to listen to what they AREN'T playing to truly understand!). However, the Montreal four-piece's third album has shifted my beliefs some.

Roaring Night is progressive, to be sure. Tracks often meander into the six and seven minute range, locking in on tight grooves and peppering in a guitar solo here, a blast of welcoming fuzz there. Songs like “Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt 1: The Innocent” uses this Yes-meets-Arcade Fire pattern to maximum success, resulting in a sprawling song that never feels tired despite its simple arrangement and repetitive nature.

Indeed, this isn't your Uncle's prog-rock. Gone are the overwrought keyboard solos, the odd time signatures and the greek mythology / space exploration back stories that choked the great Prog dinosaurs of the 1970s. This is indie-prog, my friends, full of harmonies, restrained pop sensibilities and sound layering. So, yeah, if you were looking for the next Rush or King Crimson, one would be better off with the latest Mars Volta record.

Indeed, the Besnard Lakes are much less Yes and much more Yo La Tengo, making guitar heavy shoe-gaze rife with band-wide vocal harmonies, walls of fuzzy sound and a general sense of grandeur that suggests some great big sunrise awaits us all just over the horizon. Roaring Night isn't a game changer, but it makes for excellent late-night soundtrack fodder, and it offers a little more complexity than the average indie rock album. At the very least, it'll hold us over until the next Broken Social Scene album.

So, no it doesn't change the prog-rock game. It does, however, make the shit not only listenable but relateible as well. Besnard Lakes deserve credit for that, if nothing else.

Key Tracks: Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt 1: The Innocent, Albatross

Buy, Steal, Skip: Worth listening to, but not worth paying for. Steal.

Saturday, March 20

In These Tough Times, You Can Count On Ted Leo, The Cal Ripkin of Rock Music

Artist: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Album: The Brutalist Bricks

If Ted Leo ran for office, he would get every rocker vote in America. Not because his politics are sound, but because he is one trustworthy motherfucker.

Few bands can boast his kind of consistency, few men are capable of his level of continued quality. While his body of work ranges from the transcendent (Hearts of Oak) to the occasionally overblown (Living With The Living), his records can always be counted on for anywhere from three to five immediate hits, with a handful of slow-growers tossed in.

The Brutalist Bricks continues this Dennis Kucinich-like streak of quality tunes. Musically, it is standard Leo: the love child of Joe Strummer and Phil Lynott. The record contains less guitar solos than usual, but the ones employed are done so with maximum proficiency and potency. There are also a few more punk tunes than Leo usually turns out, with roughly three of the albums 12 tracks playing out at straight-up punk. The lyrics are political in nature, and while nothing hit hits as strongly or as smartly as, say, “Walking to Do” or “Ballad of the Sin Eaters,” the lyrics aren't a deal breaker.

Honestly, one doesn't come to Leo for political analysis or life-changing prose. One comes to Leo for some a-rock music, and the middle section of Bricks delivers in spades. The album opens with “The Mighty Sparrow,” an above-average rock song saved by some excellent guitar riffing. A few songs later “Even Heroes Have To Die” hits: a slow-burning pop number that marks the album hitting its stride. From there, we get the blistering, unhinged “The Stick,” the lyrically confusing album highlight “Bottled in Cork,” the simple, urgent thump of “Woke Up Near Chelsea” and the groovy, low-voiced smoothness of “One Polaroid a Day.” Each of these songs rank among Leo's best since Hearts of Oak, and would have made for a boss EP.

The remaining songs can't really hold up in comparison. I mean, sure, “Gimmie The Wire” is a kick ass throwback to Leo's Tyranny of Distance days and “Where Was My Brain” is a fun enough punk anthem, but the last few songs tend to drag, making the album seem longer than its 40 minute run time. Besides, with the exception of “Wire,” Leo has spent all his best guitar riffs (including a painfully, generously brief little bit of ripping on “Bottled in Cork.”).

There are some complaints to be made about The Brutalist Bricks: it feels less like a complete statement and more like a bunch of songs Leo had lying around and decided to put into an album. Then again, shit like that only matters to the obsessives like me. What's more important is that Bricks keeps up Leo's quality train with enough good songs and good ideas to keep people interested until the next set of anthems comes out.

I don't know about you guys, but if this Obama thing doesn't pan out, I'm voting Leo in 2012. At least that is a name I can trust.

Key Tracks: Bottled in Cork, Gimmie The Wire, Even Heroes Have To Die

Buy, Steal, Skip:
Buy it

Dig the guitar solo! So good!

Wednesday, March 17

Now This Is More Like It...

See, Confide? There is a right and a wrong way to do everything.

Monday, March 15

Frightened Rabbit Fail To Live Up To Coolness of New Album's Title

Artist: Frightened Rabbit
Album: The Winter of Mixed Drinks

Short Review:
Still good, just not as good as before.

Long Review:
There is no big reason, no giant flaw to blame for The Winter of Mixed Drinks's failure to resonate as strongly as Frightened Rabbit's sophomore album does. There are, however, a few small reasons one could point to.

A contributing factor could be the band's recent additions, members wise. Between second and third records, the band gained two new members and with them access to a bunch of new instruments to throw into the mix. Now, going from four dudes to six dudes is by no means an insurmountable obstacle, recoding wise, but it does mean the addition of two more voices, two more things to mix into the songs. This might account for the muddled feeling the album maintains throughout. The production gives equal treatment to all elements, making for a soupy, indistinct listen throughout.

Still, it isn't like the band forgot how to write songs. Mixed Drinks still packs a good punch at its best moments. First and second singles "Swim Until You Can't See Land" and "Nothing Like You" are both catchy little rock songs that continue the band's reputation for being a cooler, more eloquent Coldplay 2.0. The former is a more subdued number about getting lost in one's one mind. The latter is a classic “fuck you, look how awesome this new girl is,” type song: righteously vengeful without being too bitter. There's also "The Loneliness and the Scream," an album highlight that utilizes gang vocals and one catchy-as-sin guitar melody to perfection, creating a somber tune about... uh... being lonely.

These track aside, the rest of the album plays out in a pleasant, unremarkable way, never really shaking off a crowded, muddy feeling. Which leads to the second possible reason this album doesn't quite stick: lead Rabbit Scott Hutchinson has gone on record saying that Mixed Drinks is a much less personal album than his last, that the record is more about “being lost and not knowing where you are,” and that it is less focused than previous efforts.

This isn't a bad album, and these quotes are by no means deal breakers, but it is a little telling than an album about “feeling lost” suffers from a distinct lack of focus or specific vision.

Again, there is no big reason that The Winter Of Mixed Drinks isn't the almighty followup to Midnight Organ Fight one would hope for. I wish there was a better way to say “it just isn't as good as their last one.”

This personal anecdote will have to do: On their last record, Frightened Rabbit had a way of dominating any activity. Songs about loss and love would float from the background and take hold of whatever was going on. Snips of songs and lyrics would find their way into my brain, hanging on my mind with their simplicity and power. This time around, I had to look up the lyrics.

Key Tracks:
The Loneliness and the Scream, Nothing Like You, Swim Until You Can't See Land

Buy, Steal, Skip:

Thursday, March 11

Freelance Whales Get All Touch-y Feel-y

This review appears at No Ripcord

Freelance Whales
Album: Weathervanes

Short Review: An average collection of bedroom twee pop.

Long Review: Even in the fantasy world of Twee (a musical realm where unicorns play hopscotch with tree nymphs and everyone hugs all the time), there is a threshold where things become too quirky, too cute. Weathervanes, the debut album from NYC upstarts Freelance Whales, spends some of its time sitting on that line and the rest of it taking huge cotton candy shits on the wrong side of it.

The back story on this band is a cheerful one: five folks from Hipstertown Brooklyn make easy, fragile pop music out of gang vocals, boy/girl exchanges, banjos and a can-do attitude. After a few loft shows and street corner performances, their warm, inviting debut album drops in the midst of the Chillwave freeze out of 09-10 to remind us how to love. Or something like that.

Occasionally, one can hear where the hype is coming from. Take, for example, the tender Location, a track that invokes comparisons to Sufjan Stevens and Ra Ra Riot, but with enough originality to stand on its own. Its galloping guitar riff and soft dual vocals gives way to a chanting chorus that is both catchy and heartwarming without being overly mushy.

The same can be said of Hannah, a banjo driven highlight that achieves an easy charm without being overly sappy, musically or lyrically. Sure, there is a little too much saccharine in lyrics like “I'll work on the limbs if you work on the torso / if it gets to be too much then you can lend a helping hand,” but the track is good enough that nits need not be picked.

Elsewhere, however, shit just falls apart. Too much of Weathervanes is unnecessary fluff. Of the album's 13 tracks, three are wordless moments of focus-less, meaningless noise and at least three other songs could have been trimmed down by a few minutes (especially Ghosting and Generator (Second Floor) two tracks that are in dire need of an editor). Sure, there are some good moments to be found throughout the album, but too often the songs run out of steam long before they are over, leaving the listener checking to make sure their shit isn't on repeat.

(Note to bands everywhere: I know that whole “sound cloud, repetitious fuzzy noise” thing is awesome in concert, but it is irritating as fuck on albums. Cut that shit out.)

The band also tends to hang a little too close to their influences. The aforementioned Hannah bites its rhyme scheme from a Sufjan Stevens' track and Broken Horse sounds like a straight-up Illinois b-side, vocal delivery and all. Kilojoules plays like a castrated Los Campesinos! Song and Starring is a little too Postal Service (if you are being kind) or Owl City (if you are being a dick) to stand on its own.

But mostly, the music is a little bit too sweet to be taken seriously. I mean, I'm all for good vibes and there is nothing wrong with bringing a little innocence to the game, but pairing wispy, longing vocals with lyrics like “How many stars you think you possess / how many in your butterfly net,” and “ Please don't put your face into your hands / we could be friends” makes things hard to swallow.

A lot of Weathervanes is lacking in substance to make the album much more than an occasional indulgence (like a fried Twinkie) or a novelty album for snugglin'. Still, there are enough interesting ideas and charm to make Freelance Whales a band to look out for. They don't have it all together now, but there is evidence to suggest they might pull it together.

Key Tracks: Location, Hannah, Generator (First Floor), Kilojoules

Buy, Steal, Skip: Steal

Wednesday, March 10

Rap Video Wednesday: El Producto

Most of these rap videos have been throwbacks to a better, simpler time. A time when the economy was good. A time when rap was so popular that even talentless scubs like Bridman and Lil' Flip could make millions. A time when fine looking women still backed that azz up.

So today, I want to buck that trend a little bit and post a more recent video. This one comes from El-P's brilliant Best Album of 2007, I'll Sleep When You're Dead. Let's get paranoid up in this bitch!

Tuesday, March 9

Titus Andronicus Forever: The First Great Album of 2010

Artist: Titus Andronicus
Album: The Monitor

Short Review:
The Monitor is the best album of 2010 so far. Get that shit now.

Long Review:

“I'll write my masterpiece some other day”
-Titus Andronicus from “Titus Andronicus” off The Airing of Grievances, 2008

Two years removed from its breakout nihilistic indie/punk debut The Airing of Grievances, Titus Andronicus return with The Monitor, an album that inspires feelings of violence, excitement, despair and righteous vengeance, often all within the same song.

Notice the word usage in the first paragraph. Album. This is not some collection of songs, some assembly of singles and catchy tunes to be chopped up and played in whatever order one would like. This is not a hit record made with more bum tracks than good hooks to be passed over and forgotten. This is a statement, an artistic expression that is meant to be consumed as arranged. This is literature, this is film, this is a painting.

Indeed, taking the album as it comes is a large part of what makes it so memorable. The songs within are massive. The shortest two clock in around two minutes, but the rest never stray shorter than five minutes, with the longest clocking in at over 14. Tracks are done in movements, like a classical work, with musical themes that are established, developed, expanded upon and revisited. Anthems will give way to dirges. Pop songs will give way to drunken choruses. One track bleeds into the next until the entire thing moves like a symphony, a story and a point unfolding.

And there is a story. Rather, there is a theme, a reason behind everything, told vaguely and with hints so that it can be followed, but only for those willing to look. Is it an album about the Civil War? Is it about leaving New Jersey for greener pastures? Yes. No. Is it about the folly of life, the division of brothers over superficial reasons, the hypocrisy and contradictions in mankind, cruelty and how one reacts to it, about finding life to be meaningless and carrying on? You'll have to listen.

Does it sound like a chore? It is not. The Monitor fucking rocks. Songs are fuzzy and bloated, but packed to the gills with layers of bristling guitars. Solos and leads fall unexpectedly at every turn, and where there is no music to carry the melody, there are sing a longs and battle cries, lyrics delivered with such energy and conviction that lines like “You will always be a loser,” and “It's still us against them and they're winning” are turned on ear from depressing realizations to rally hymns.

Despite its negative nature, the album is alive with energy. There is a current that runs through this album, through stereo wire and headphone chord, that leads right to the heart and speaks to something primal and chaotic in the human form. From the dramatic readings that begin and end the lead track “A More Perfect Union,” one will want to dance, scream, punch, kiss, burn. It is stirring music, music to rouse the soul.

Taken at face value, this is nothing more than an exceedingly well made, exciting low-fi art-punk record. The listening experience, however, is one that far few bands strive for anymore. Titus Andronicus have created an album that will grip the listener, carry them along on a tide of spit and blood and youthful aggression, and leave them dazed and exhausted at the end, with no other option but to start the record all over again.

On its first album, Titus Andronicus promised that a masterpiece would be written.

The Monitor makes good on that promise.

Key Tracks: A More Perfect Union, Titus Andronicus Forever, Richard II, Four Score and Seven, To Friends Old and New, The Battle of Hampton Roads

Buy, Steal, Skip:
Buy two, give one to someone.

Sunday, March 7

Haiku Reviews # 6 Best Week Ever Edition

Haiku Reviews: In which Nate Adams uses the ancient art of (Chinese? Japansese? Mexican?) poetry and reviews albums in a 5-7-5 format. Is it laziness, or NEW ZEN CRITICISM? Be the judge or submit your own, assface! Contact Nate on Twitter or at

This week, there are no less than seven albums coming out that are of great interest to me. As a result, some other albums, be it ones I've had for a few weeks or that just wouldn't be fun to write about or that I haven't had a chance to flesh out ins full review, need to be dealt with to make room for the coming influx of good shit. With that in mind, dig into these little review snapshots.



Artist: Xiu Xiu
Album: Dear God, I Hate Myself

I was bummed out to
find Xiu Xiu were not nearly
as weird as I'd hoped.

Artist: Field Music
Album: Field Music (Measure)

Stuff that sounds like Queen
is okay, but this album
is too fucking long.

Artist: Collapse Under The Sun
Album: A Place To Be Safe

Even the post-rock
sounds like techno when it is
made in Germany.

Artist: Local Natives
Album: Gorilla Manor

Pitchfork blog buzz band
builds a better Fleet Foxes,
totally hype worthy.

Artist: Gil Scott Heron
Album: I'm New Here

Spoken word hinges
on good writing and good voice,
Scott-Heron brings both.

Artist: Jaga Jazzist
Album: One Armed Bandit

I don't know what the
fuck is happening here but
this album is great.

Wednesday, March 3

Rap Video Wednesday

I really didn't want to post a rap video today. I had every intention of writing a review of the most recent Freelance Whales album. I even wrote up a word document that listed every album I wanted to review and the specific day I wanted to review it, and Freelance Whales was slated for today.

But then I worked a long shift at work and the minute I came home and sat down on my bed to write, I lost my moxy. I would be a terrible sassy dame..

Either way, my bad guys. My bad, Freelance Whales. Let's all ease our sorrows with a little Trick Daddy. After all, Trick does love the kids, and that's gotta count for something, right?

Wait, you day you'd like MORE Trick Daddy? MORE TRICK DADDY? Perhaps with a dollop of Lil' Jon? Well, your wish is my command!

Tuesday, March 2

An Alkaline Trio Cautionary Fairy Tale

Artist: The Alkaline Trio
Album: This Addiction

Short Review: Alkaline Trio shoots for a GNV FLA-style return to their roots, but returns continue to diminish on their sound.

Long Review:
Once upon a time, there were three dudes who liked to drink and play punk songs about girls. They would write music that was big on harmonics and simple chords. They would pepper their lyrics with dark, Gothic imagery that juxtaposed with their pop sound in a fun, compelling way. Basically, they made music for romantics who wanted to kill themselves, but at least had a sense of humor about it.

So this band recorded an album and named it Goddamnit. The album became a classic, and established the band as an exciting new sound in punk. They toured the country, kept drinkin' and sticking to the formula that made them. They released a few more albums that all sounded pretty much the same, but had enough good songs and little sonic adjustments to keep their goodwill alive.

Things were going well enough for the band. Then they put out an album that had a lot of keyboards and synths. This album was more pop-minded and it played like an homage the groups the guys themselves grew up listening to. This album, let's call it Crimson, was released to mixed reviews. Some people really like it, but by and large folks flipped the fuck out and panned the album as shit. Regardless of how people thought about it now, it was accepted as their worst album.

The band took notice and went back to their roots, writing the kind of songs that made them famous in the first place. However, it was too late. They had stretched their tricks as far as they could, and now they were just repeating themselves. Sure, they could still turn out some good songs every now and again, but things were not looking good for the band. They spent their time trying to recapture their former magic using the same old tools, with diminishing returns.

So what happened to that band? That band that made some great tracks in their day, but really haven't contributed to their personal musical lexicon since 2003 (minus a pretty awesome b-sides collection in 2008)? They released an album called This Addiction, an album with a few good songs (“This Addiction,” “The American Scream,” “Dead On The Floor”) and a few more bad songs (“Dine, Dine My Darling,” "Draculina”) and one pretty crazy bonus song (“Two Lips, Two Lungs and One Tongue”). It is more or less the same album that the band has been putting out since the late 90s, only the sound is much more stale from all the ware. Diehards will like it, the casual fan will tolerate it, the uninitiated would be better to stay away.

And that, boys and girls, is the rise, fall and cautionary tale of a totally fictional band. We'll call them The Battery Three.

Key Tracks: The American Scream, Dead On The Floor, This Addiction

Buy, Steal, Skip: Steal

Monday, March 1


Artist: Bomb The Music Industry!
Album: Adults!!!... Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!

Short Review: Adults!!! isn't a perfect outing, but you would be hard pressed to find a better free EP recorded in five days.

Long Review: Bomb The Music Industry! have been doing quite the victory lap since its excellent 2009 album Scrambles. First there was the B-side collection Others! Others!, then a split with Laura Stevenson and The Cans and now a new seven song EP recorded, mixed and mastered in five days.

Adults!!! continues the same themes that Scrambles touched on, but with a less cheerful outcome. Even when primary songwriter Jeff Rosenstock was worried about being jobless, he was still finding time to appreciate sunsets and playing Rock Band until two AM. Scrambles was very good at balancing bummed-out attitudes with upbeat songs and small moments of emotional release. This EP lacks both of those elements, making it a bit more of a depressing listen.

Rosenstock is still not too sure about this whole “being a grown up” stuff. Adults!!! finds him questioning his living situation (the poppy-piano song “Slumloard”), imagining his own funeral (“Planning My Own Death,” a punked-up throwback to BTMI's earlier albums) second guessing his relationships (the triumphant “You Still Believe In Me?”) and even questioning his musical career (the morose “All Ages Show”). As usual, Rosenstock comes off as charming and relateable; he is still able to make very specific, personal stories feel universal. His development as a lyric writer continues to push him further from the pack and closer to the Schwarzenbachs and Kellys of the punk world.

Still, Adults!!!'s misses seem to standout more than its hits. The biggest bummer is “All Ages Show,” which is a slower, more chaotic song in the same vein of “Wednesday Night Drinkball” or “All Alone In My Big Empty Apartment,” but without the appeal of either. These types of songs are often Rosenstock's weakest, and that holds true on this EP. The other questionable track is the record-closing “Struggler,” which goes on a little bit too long (albeit comically so), and never quite sticks in its development.

The rest of the EP, however, is fucking gravy. “You Still Believe In Me?” and “The First Time I Met Sanawon” are both typical BTMI: shouty gang vocals, kitchen sink arrangements, controlled chaos that somehow works. “Slumlord,” while being the poppiest the band has gotten since Get Warmer's opening tracks, is also one of the most fun and uplifting “fuck you”s written in some time.

Adults!!! isn't a perfect outing, but you would be hard pressed to find a better free EP recorded in five days. If nothing else, it proves true what Rosenstock says on “Sanawon,” a turn of phrase destined to become a modern punk mantra: “I will do my best to never get tired.”

Key Tracks: You Still Believe In Me?, The First Time I Met Sanawon, Slumlord, Planning My Death

Buy, Steal, Skip: Get this shit for free, man!