Reviews

Post Present Medium

Gen Pop PPM66 LP

The first full-length from Olympia’s GEN POP, who have been regularly shape-shifting through stylistic coordinates (rapid-fire smart-kid hardcore, angular post-punk jitters, off-kilter weirdo pop, often in the span of one song to another) across a string of cassettes and EPs over the last few years, and that ripped-up bricolage approach is still very much in place on PPM66. Opening track “Bell Book Candle” takes up a decidedly neo-Messthetics mantle with monotone faux-Brit vocals and some seriously primitive and trebly SWELL MAPS damage, “Hanging Drum” and “My Apartment” both split the difference between BUZZCOCKS-style barbed wire hooks and WIRE’d econo art-punk urgency, the sub-minute “Personal Fantasy” tumbles and (Darby) crashes into vintage L.A. punk territory…and that’s just the first half (more or less) of the LP. A little something for everyone, truly—GEN POP is for the people.

P22 Human Snake 12″

P22, a Los Angeles mountain lion who traversed two busy freeways to stalk the hills of Griffith Park, is an apt namesake for this band, whose debut 12” begins with Jackie Beckey’s viola climbing to a nauseating crescendo, which one can only imagine parallels the feeling of running across the 101. P22 borrows heavily from the artier side of peace punk—they previously released a tape with a CHUMBAWAMBA cover—but their lyrics, while poetic, elide droll sloganeering or didacticism. While they occasionally play at a more straightforward punk pace, the music is often sparse, driven by propulsive, inventive drumming. Imagine if the ROSA YEMEN 12” was sent in as a demo for a Bullshit Detector comp or if SACCHARINE TRUST got the EX to do their artwork. A fully-formed achievement, honestly maybe a masterpiece?