Never Heard of Zeppelin | Is In Business (Metal Postcard)

cd_neverzep.jpgEven though it hurts to hear at high volumes, and even though the lyrics are all basically "I hate everything, I live my life right, unlike you, but I’m still miserable," I loved this EP.

 

 

 

 

 

When I first got to college, the girl who lived above me asked if I was into punk rock. I said I liked it, but was no expert; the told me she’d make me a tape. I thought it was quaint and incredibly cliché that she would make me a tape.

The next week, she handed me a cassette. On it was 60 minutes of new, raw, underground punk rock made—according to her—entirely by teenagers. The lyrics were childish, but they had a certain angry profoundness I couldn’t quite describe. As far as the music went, everything was shouted and the instruments were distorted beyond recognition. Occasionally there were breakdowns and interesting rhythmic tricks that added certain bravado to the whole mix.

That’s what "Is in Business" reminds me of. It’s angry, fast and recorded terribly. But I think that’s the goal here. What sets this apart from traditional lo-fi punk is that it isn’t recorded with guitars, bass and drums. Instead, it’s all eight-bit synths and drum machines. The keyboards are turned up and fuzzed out until each tone is crushed and screaming for help. Really, the whole thing is hard to listen to. Despite that, I couldn’t stop playing it.

Perhaps I kept listening because I’m a glutton for punishment. I wanted to hate this, and expected I would. I didn’t, though. Even though it hurts to hear at high volumes, and even though the lyrics are all basically "I hate everything, I live my life right, unlike you, but I’m still miserable," I loved this EP.

It doesn’t hurt that the second track is a cover of The Magnetic Fields’ "The Book of Love." Given the Never Heard of Zeppelin treatment, the tender ballad becomes a pissed-off, twisted screamfest that’s still surprisingly tender. This is shouting done right, complimented by excellent keyboard chops and brilliantly chosen/programmed beats.

Despite how much I love this record, I bet the guy behind it would hate me if we ever met. I probably seem like a phony to him. He sounds like he has the type of snobbish, "I’m not a snob" attitude that I hate. Even though his lyrics paint the picture that he’s a down-to-earth, self-effacing guy, upon closer listen they sound incredibly pretentious and elitist. He doesn’t seem to like anyone who doesn’t live like him. It kind of makes me hate his attitude, even though we’d probably agree about a lot of things. Sure, I feel like a poseur playing this angry, anti-corporate music as I drive to work; I still can’t stop listening.

Well, if I ever do meet this guy, I’ll tell him how a feel. Maybe he’ll respond with one of his lyrics: "Congratulations, you’re responsible for universal genocide." A+ | Gabe Bullard

RIYL: Angry lo-fi music

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