More Great Growl from the Gotobeds
One of the most welcome discoveries of 2014, the punningly titled Poor People Are Revolting was a sharp smack upside the head. Allegedly recorded in the space of a day and released on Gerard “Matador” Cosloy’s 12XU Records, the Pittsburgh quartet’s debut was a hard-hitting set of seemingly off-the-cuff, beer-soaked, sometimes profane but always wise-ass sociological observations riding atop relentless subway-train grooves caressed by waves of feedback and snaky, intertwining guitar leads.
Graduating to Sub Pop for their second album Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic, Kim Phuc veterans Eli Kasan and Tom Payne and their new bandmates don’t alter the recipe much: These 11 tracks still split the difference between angular art-punk and early Replacements chaos. But it’s another energizing thrill ride, with anger leavened by humor (“Crisis Time” derides “commercial bands who make songs for commercial use,” but adds, “And I’m jealous”), and noise sweetened with melodic riffs (if not vocal hooks: the band has one mode of singing, and that’s best described as shouted growling).
The title is, of course, a snarky nod to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and some are saying this is the Gotobeds’ “L.A. album,” as opposed to the New York rumble of the last one. Alas, there is nothing here quite as memorable as that disc’s anthemic “New York’s Alright.” But we do get a guest cameo from Protomartyr’s Joe Casey, and it’s given me the triple-espresso shot of adrenaline I’ve needed every time I’ve hit “play.”
The Gotobeds, Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic (Sup Pop)
Rating on the 4-star scale: 3.5 stars.