Gas Huffer

One Inch Masters

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The title's a reference to the recording process, but on the cover, there they are -- one inch masters, the band members themselves as kiddie toys (Matt Wright's apple-cheeked look is particularly funny). Third album along and Gas Huffer is once again dedicated to bringing the sweaty, sexy beat, the humorous melodrama, the oddball storytelling, and more all to the fore. Fellow Seattle music denizen Kurt Bloch handles the production this time around and, though they ended up on Epitaph, there's no attempt to turn them into the Offspring-lite or any such annoyance -- it's Gas Huffer, straight up. Song titles again serve as a mission statement and call to arms, with choice instances including "Mr. Sudbuster" (cue for another shaggy-dog tale from Wright and company, this time about the powers of detergent), "Appendix Gone," "Hand of the Nomad," and the hilarious "Goat No Have." While there is a slight change here and there, it's in slightly calmer, but only just, song introductions and general atmospheres -- playful riffs from Tom Price here and there, a hint of country jump blues on "What's in the Bag?," and the like. "14th and Jefferson" has a slower R&B groove for a start, speeding up a bit as it goes but not losing its sharp sense of swing. Those instances aside, otherwise it's Gas Huffer blazing along as always and devil take the hindmost. "Quasimodo '94" is a definite barnburner, relying on acceleration instead of blunt feedback slabs to make the maximum impact, a Gas Huffer trademark (besides, Wright's singing is pure force on its own).

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