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November 18, 2017


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The Bar Feeders
Scotto El Blotto (Dill Records/Depth Charge Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Bar Feeders are a three piece punk outfit like no other. Their blend of punk is fast and hard, yet it has a strange and twisted feeling to it. Sampling to add an introduction to some songs, they also add humor to their lyrics. They jump from topics of anger to topics of humor, covering all the ground.

The CD starts off with "Solar," an atomic blast of guitars, drums, and bass. The music is powerful and will crush you like a twig with its intense power. However, the vocals take a lot from the music, bringing it down to a lower level. The vocals are a bit high, and sound very underdeveloped for the music. "10 Pounds of Beef" starts out with a humorous sample. A voice comes on and says, "When you're feeling angry, or sad...or maybe when something makes you feel afraid, do you ever make up a dance, stomp your feet, or punch an old pillow? Or do you have a loud song that you can sing when you're angry? Here's some loud music that just sounds like it's saying, 'I'm angry. I'm very angry.'" Then it busts into some very loud music, that does sound as if it was saying "I'm Angry." Once again, the guitar screams through the song in intense fury, while the drummer beats the shit out of his kit. The bassist controls the scene with him hammer like blows of bass assaults, but all falls to pieces when the vocals come on. They ruin the song. It's not that they are too fast, which they are, it's just they're too high pitched for punk music. "Corey Matsumura" calms the pace down a bit with a slow, pop intro that sounds as if the band is going soft. Maybe a sad love-lost song? No, not from this band. The music gets faster, and harder and then it turns into a punk rock assault. This time the vocals are done better. They actually go with the music, and don't subtract from it. But I do have a complaint. The vocals are recorded pretty roughly, which does in fact take away from the song. But the whole song is recorded pretty roughly, so it's not the vocals fault. A better recording of this song, and it could be great. But the way it is, it's just an average song. "Sierra Nevada" is a quick attack, but a good one. A little bit of pop, and a lot of hard edged punk goes a long way in this song. "Hail Hail The Beers All Here," is another song about beer by another punk band. How original, right? Who cares. The topics been done, but these guys do it good. Slower than the rest of their stuff, and very funny, I have to give this song a thumbs up. "Pissed Off" closes out the CD. It starts off very soft, and gradually it gets tougher. Then the punk hits you like a ton of brings. Definitely another song that says "I'm angry." A nice way to close off the CD. But wait...there is some hidden stuff. Find out for yourself what I'm talking about.

The Bar Feeders have promise. They just need stronger vocals, and better recording equipment. And with the two, they could be unstoppable. Their speed is powerful, intense, and hectic, all things that make good punk. But on this album they don't pull it off. Maybe with time they will be dynamic, but for now they're just mediocre. I'll give this album a C+.

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