Gas Huffer

Janitors of Tomorrow

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Making its point in a little over half an hour, Janitors of Tomorrow found the energy and fun of the band's earlier work easily continuing in a longer incarnation. Not that the songs themselves are epic-length, with 13 wild and woolly numbers to choose from. Covering everything from matters of lust ("Girl I Need Your Lovin' (Right Now)") to, well, other things ("Night Train to Spokane," or the wild country feedback of "Lizard Hunt"), the merry foursome blast their way along with the righteous rock energy of their wild and woolly Seattle-area forebears of the '60s. There are plenty of references to similar hook-and-riff titans as the Ramones, the Damned, and even the Misfits, all turned into a fine romp. Jack Endino's production style perfectly suits the group, balancing between straight-ahead impact and warm feedback fuzz. Matt Wright demonstrates his frontman skills as much through knowing when not to sing as when to let loose with wordless wails and wry lyrics. Rather than dominating the group, he sounds like he's enjoying the ride as much as anybody else, while he's got an ear for shout-along choruses, as on "Nisqually." The three instrument players all make for a great unit -- nobody shows off, everyone's good, each with just enough individual flair. Tom Price's guitar mania, like the opening blast riff on "Shoe Factory," neatly balances out the tight, immediate melodies -- the R&B/sleaze moves of "Robert" being a good example. Other highlights include "Mistake" ("turned around and I saw she was a man") and the sly sass of "Compromise in the Dark." Unpretentious, busy, and well worth it, Janitors' only flaw is its somewhat one-note approach, but most people will be having too much to care. [Some versions of Janitors of Tomorrow included the debut "Firebug" single and the Ethyl EP.]

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