Nothing Fits

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Tyevk might be protesting too much with the title Nothing Fits. After all, In the Red, which released this album, is a perfect fit for their brash, off-kilter punk, placing them alongside the Black Lips and the Intelligence. Even the way the letters of their name dance around the album cover in no obvious order is a fitting and playful nod to their legally mandated name change from Tyvek to Tyevk. And while recording at Benton Harbor, MI’s Key Club Studio wasn’t the likeliest move, it ends up being a good one. Nothing Fits may be the cleanest recording to Tyevk’s name -- especially compared to their other 2010 release, the demo sessions album Skyin’ -- but the band is as raucous as ever. Thanks to the clean, but not polished, surroundings, Tyevk manages to sound clearer and rawer. Now their abrasiveness has definition, letting listeners hear the noise each member of the band cranks out, from the bashed beat on the aptly named “Animal” to “Future Junk”'s buzzsaw guitars to the way the bassline carries the melody on the title track. Most importantly, Tyevk blasts through Nothing Fits with the same determined, demented energy they’ve always had, and the best songs really benefit from this. “4312” kicks things off with revved-up, cross-eyed countdown and relentless riffage that underscores the early Wire comparisons, a similarity that stretches to “Outer Limits”' paranoid punk (though the sci-fi allusions might remind some listeners of Stiff Little Fingers). Of course, the more monotonous songs also stand out more, too, like the spuds ‘n’ sex-themed “Potato.” Nothing Fits might be slightly more fleshed out than the band’s previous work -- “This One-That One”'s angst feels more existential than usual -- but even though songs like “Underwater 2” are relatively melodic and expansive, it feels more like the band catching their breath than “maturing.” Tyevk are still at the best when they keep things short, snarky, and catchy, as on “Underwater 1”'s sunken mental asylum rave-up or the road rage rant “Pricks in a Car.” Nevertheless, Nothing Fits proves that they can change things up and still deliver music with visceral impact.

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