Yes to Everything

The Washdown

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Yes to Everything Review

by Johnny Loftus

It's interesting that the Washdown have toured with Hot Hot Heat, as that combo is also their most immediate reference point. Both bands have an affinity for sending up the shrill angularity of post-punk with hooks accessible through an unmarked door in the alley -- that door usually opens up into a strobe-lit basement room full of people smoking imported cigarettes three at a time and kneeing each other in the balls. This doesn't make Yes to Everything bad in any way. On the contrary, anyone who's listened in earnest to those old Wire LPs has probably sighed, wishing for a few more melodies to match all that arched chest squawking. The Washdown gladly offer this accessible addendum. That they happen to have dropped their full-length debut right into the scads of hype surrounding some similarly revisionist peers (the Rapture comes to mind) is either a coincidence or savvy marketing. But if it makes the indie kids dance, isn't that enough? "Pull. Out. Work. Space." is a brief, deconstructed disco instrumental that undoubtedly becomes a monster on-stage; "Bad Connection w/ a Lover" is piercing guitar and bass thrum reminiscent of Brainiac. Helped along by subtly insistent keys, Ryan Hess' scratchy vocal hiccup really comes into its own on "We've Listened to Your History." "We set our radios burning out of sheer preventative" -- who knows what he's harping on about, but you can just see a sea of skinny jeans convulsing under a shower of PBR. By the time you get to "Ladies and Gentlemen" and "Say When," the Washdown's elbow-crook cock strut is wearing a little thin. Promisingly, it never completely snaps, shrewdly offering you another hit before you can even think of saying no. The raucous rock blast of "Awful Truth" is a nice nod to classicist indie, while "Killing Word"'s messy cool shamble of screwy catch phrase lyrics ("I've got a NAME!" "Dressed up in BLUE!") is silly, messy fun. It's Yes to Everything except, thankfully, a cowbell.

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