Public Square

This Moment in Black History

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Public Square Review

by Phil Freeman

This Cleveland punk band, whose roster does include some African-Americans, in case that matters, have come up with a fairly individualistic blend of jagged noise and adrenalized hardcore. They combine the amped-up discord of At the Drive-In and Cloak/Dagger with the noise strategies of a prior generation of underground superstars; it's possible to hear echoes of Jon Spencer in their distorted but decidedly rock & roll-rooted guitars, not to mention the strategic deployment of electric organ and handclaps. Many of the song titles ("Forest Whitaker [In an Uncompromising Role]," "Makes My Teeth White," "MFA") betray a sly sense of humor, but the music itself has plenty of appeal just based on its raw, undeniable energy. At the end of this half-hour jump 'n' shout session, they turn the closing track, "Precinct," into a six-minute suite of Stooges riffs, Dead Boys shout-alongs, and even a bass-and-drums break Iron Butterfly wouldn't have sneered at.

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