On Triple Beams

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Back in the days when studios were prohibitively expensive sonic temples where only the most professional, label-backed bands were able to afford time in their hallowed halls, lo-fi recording was more a thing of necessity than a stylistic choice. But now, in the era of easy-as-pie digital recording, a band has to go out of their way to really make something grimy. And while some might still think of this aesthetic as limited or restricting, Detroit garage punks Tyvek revel in the grime and uncertainty that can only be found when the needle is thoroughly buried in the red. While their fourth album, On Triple Beams, definitely follows in the skull-splitting footsteps of the band's earlier work, the album has a distinctively different feel. Rather than feeling crushed down and distorted, it feels more like you're in the basement with the band, evoking the sort of ear fatigue that will make anyone with tinnitus from one too many basement shows feel immediately nostalgic for the eardrum-destroying sounds that can only come from a punk band refracting off of dingy concrete walls. This roomy feeling helps the album feel more relatable and natural than other lo-fi records, giving the impression that this is a loud recording of loud music rather than simply a recording that was distorted into something new. Treatises on fidelity aside, On Triple Beams' marriage of the Dead Milkmen's irreverence and Wire's brilliant, repetitive simplicity makes the album one that will definitely scratch the itch for any punk fan, and will make a quick fan out of anyone not already on board with Tyvek's grinding punk goodness.

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