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October 20, 2017


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4-Gazm
"Here Kitty...Kitty..." (Vegas Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Something about female punk has always attracted me. The music isn't all that different, the lyrics often have different insights and opinions to life, and the vocals are usually a bit more, well, attractive. There is just something about a hard, fast song that is sung by women compared to men. The melodic edge is usually crisper, due in large amounts to the sweeter tone a lot of females carry. No exception here, 4-Gasm's punk rock seems to carry a melodic edge through the vocals, while the music reflects that of a much harder, sometimes angrier, side.

"Dead Girl" opens the disc up with a good example of what is to pop in the disc's thirty- minute stretch. Lots of chunky bass gives the song an aggressive bite, the drums take the pounding to the next level with fierce blows that ring so loud you'll be hearing them bounce around your head for some time, and the guitars eagerly race each other for speed. Hungry for your attention, the rapid pace of the song leaves you no time to look back. You'll be caught up in the song right when the guns begin blazing. The vocals are very edgy, carrying a very tough-girl persona. But the feminism still remains, giving off a gentle counterpart that seems to spotlight the melody rather than the angry side of things.

With fourteen tracks on the disc, and it nearing the thirty-minute mark, you know there's going to be some quick one-minute numbers on this disc. "Out of Control" is one of these songs. Cramming a lot of action into a small amount of time, they're still able to bring forth a lot of power and action. The relentless drums pound non-stop, while the bass follows through with some chunky lines that slap you upside the head. The guitars are left with enough room to whip through both speedy riffs and a few hooks here and there. And, of course, we have the vocals, which remain fast, but are still relatively easy to understand.

Combining elements of both the garage rock/riot grrl 'sound' and punk rock, "Defenseless" is an untamed punk number that lays everything on loose and free, but still seems to have a cohesive feeling to it. Filled with power chords galore, the simple guitar work is brought to life through the use of a heavy rhythm section. Like any good song, if the rhythm section is on their mark, your song with be at it's best. Never stale, the song always brings in fresh components, while still finishing up under two minutes.

Ending with "Get Me Off," the song starts off sounding as if it were recorded in a tin can. Building up to a point where the song gets louder, the poor recording sound at the beginning becomes an unforgettable turn-off. Even though they end with the sound that is prevalent throughout this disc, you'll quickly forget. Another short song, after the first thirty seconds you'll be done with it.

Not that original, not that catchy, and not that mind-blowing, their appeal lies in the fact that they just get out there and push all the buttons. They know how to rock, and rock hard they do. Hitting you on the head a few times here and there, don't be surprised if they eventually win you over. I'll give this disc a B-.

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