Irish Car Bomb

Tacos & Pornos

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On Tacos & Pornos, its debut for Purple Skunk, Irish Car Bomb seems drunk on its own anger. Tracks like "Bully," "Soca Raus," and "Pocket o Confidence" find dual vocalists Chris Goldbach and Christopher Hawkins barking bitter words over scrawled power chords and choppy percussion -- there's plenty of griping and all kinds of insults, but little suggestion of how to change or that the band even wants to offer a path different than pure apathy. The specter of Black Flag flares inside these songs, but even that group's claustrophobic dimensions allowed some room for subtlety. Car Bomb does try to cop some melody from Cali's later punk generation (No Use for a Name, etc.), but the yelled -- not sung -- lyrics of "Don't Listen" and "Number 2" just bruise the songs like the blunt edge of a sawed-off bat. "Make It Stop!" lifts the blistering aggression of early Fugazi, but forgoes any finesse in favor of a full-steam charge straight ahead. This material would likely function well in a live setting, where the combo would get a more immediate reaction to its bitterness and aggression. Unfortunately, on record it just seems rote and totally pissed off.

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