Measles Mumps Rubella's Troubleman Unlimited debut EP, Fountain of Youth, expands on the Washington, D.C., band's expansive but hard-edged brand of dance-punk. Like !!!, Out Hud, and their labelmates Tussle, MMR know the power of elongated grooves; the seven-minute "Fountain of Youth" itself shows that the band knows how to pace itself: the negative space around the track's slinky bassline, simple but persistent beat, spiky guitars, and shouted vocals is just as important as any of these other elements. The EP also shows that Measles Mumps Rubella have a healthy knowledge of dance-punk's history; the band's stark, percussive, yet oddly celebratory feel harks back to trailblazers such as ESG, Liquid Liquid, and A Certain Ratio, but Fountain of Youth manages to avoid sounding overly rehashed. Trans Am have fun reworking the title track on "Fountain Remix"; by adding some subtly bubbly synths and stripping away the song's outbursts, they turn it into dance music for a party in a laboratory. The eerie closing track, "Fear No Water," is something of an endurance contest -- topping out at a hair over 12 minutes, its sparer-than-spare arrangement and muttered vocals oscillate between being hypnotic and dull. "Fear No Water," and the rest of Fountain of Youth, for that matter, probably work best in a live context, but at least the EP suggests how much impact Measles Mumps Rubella can have in that setting.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares