Violent Coughing: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Part 66
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Perverts Again - Friday Night Light - Total Punk - 8 songs - LP, download
I think Perverts Again were the best band in Cleveland at a certain point. And they may be again someday (look, I know that they're still playing and all, but it's not really them without Mike and Jo– sorry, fill-ins). Anyway, this is a good document of how great they are. In a way, it's sort of like the "Straight To Video" to "Our Big Party"'s "Bait & Switch": maybe the first record was packed with classics, but this one might be more cohesive as an album. Or maybe I'm just saying that because of the book version, who knows. It's got all the Pervert hallmarks, in case you were worried: catchy songs, great vocal delivery, really funny lyrics. There's no swearing on this one, whereas I don't think there was a single clean song on the last one. Further proof that you don't have to be vulgar to create something interesting. It's got the upbeat stuff ("Blockbusted," which tells the story of a man removed from Blockbuster for his clothing choices), the more sinister vibes of something like "Longlegger" ("everyone knows what you did to that kid…") (see Alex Ward's MRR interview for more)…all you would desire from a band called Perverts Again. "Get You Out Of College" might be song of the year (I know it's early to call, but I'm pretty sure) for its honest portrayal of the life of a college student. "Put your pants on, we're getting you out of college" may just be the best lyric on the record, though that's extremely hard to say. And it's got both the upbeat punk stuff and the more ominous parts: "you let Dad down…you mean nothing now." Great song. In the hands of any other band, a cover of a Billy Joel song would come across as some heinous "ironic" thing, which I really cannot stand. However, Perverts Again play it so sincerely that it almost ends up…heartwarming? I don't know, dude. I think I hear horns on this one. Maybe it's because I'm drunk. You're drunk when you hear horns. It's pretty astonishing how well the Perverts guitar riff (you know exactly which one I mean) works with "My Life," or "It's My Life," or whatever you want to decide the title is. The spooky, almost psychedelic "I Hate Him" ends up being simultaneously the weirdest and least weird song on the record. I think "A Dollar And A Friend" is about going to a church meet-up (though Alex advised me to not take the book into account at all when considering the record, I'm going to anyway and say that yes, that is what it's about). "Two-A-Days" is another absolutely great song on here, the tale of a coach murdering the football team. Nice callback to "My Knee" in there, and as always, Alex's vocal delivery is phenomenal ("Honey, I'm serious. This could put us in prison."). Nathan Ward delivers some really nice drumming on the intro to "Cereal Bowl"– perhaps the most complicated drumming on a Perverts record since the intro of "Figgy Pudding." The melody on this one is so plaintive that the song isn't so funny as it is melancholy. Man, I don't really know what more I can say. This record is great, this band is great. I hope someday that the two non-twins in the band return and I may see them perform again. Until then, this record (and their others) will suffice. Further notes: good picture of the group on the back with Big Triv; my copy has a scratch that creates clicks throughout most of the end of "It's My Life," so I will be demanding a refund from Nathan personally shortly. Features members of the Insanos. You should've bought a copy of this already, what's your problem? 4.5/5
(floridasdying.com for the LP, pervertsagain.bandcamp.com to download. It's also on Spotify and Apple Music, so I hear.)
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email email@example.com or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.