THE BLACK BLACK • Careful on Your Way Out LP

The Black Black Careful On Your Way Out LP

Ewel Records


I’m going to start this the same way that I started the Groupie review because I got this record on the same day so… First things first, I’m a total jerk. Hands-down, I’m not covering anything, I’m not going to hide behind the pandemic, I’m not going to hide behind the fact that someone nearly stole my identity, I’m not going to hide behind guns shipped in my name across the United States, I’m not going to hide behind any family illness, I’m not going to hide behind moving, I’m not going to hide behind anything. I received this record over a year ago and simply due to my laziness I have not addressed it in the respectful and proper way that should’ve been addressed. So, without any further ado, let me tell you about this the The Black Black Careful on “Your Way Out” record. Let’s start with the cover of this the The Black Black record, is a drawing of the backs of two young lawless lovers, or at least early crushing on each other, handcuffed with a cop standing over them and all of life’s little needles and pushes and prods trying to collapse in on this little spark of life these two kids are sharing. These two kids seem perfectly content to be handcuffed as long as they are next to each other. My guess is that this is a pop punk record. I’m stoked to spin it because New Jersey New York has had some grotesquely overlooked melodic bands that have come out and those areas. Dang duder, I dropped a needle and I could not be more wrong. This is post punk dance amazingness. This could fit right in with Talking Heads, Television, Medium Medium, APB and more recently NYC’s Radio 4, the Flesh, Lost System with a nod to goth (in a good way). All of this while managing to carve out their own sonic lane. “No Satisfaction” the first song on the LP is great but they had the perfect opportunity to reclaim the lyric “why can’t I get NO satisfaction” to “… any satisfaction”?  Meh, moving on, when the fuzzy bass starts the song “Guilt Free Genocide” I’m hooked. Lines like “where do we put the poor people once we don’t need their labor” and “guilt free genocide, rich people for climate change” I think it’s creepy because of its accuracy. The record itself is the color of sand but not beach sand. It’s the color of the sand you find on a long dirt road, dusty, hard to clean off, staining clothes. Ending side 1 is “Fun Police” with an infectious chorus of “ Who made you the fun police, did you always want to grow up and be a narc” and that line is a total crack up. “2Kool2Dance” has a rad Love and Rockets feel which brings a pleasant familiarity to the entire record. These folks aren’t afraid to throw it all out there. “Vansanity” closes out side 2, grabs onto the grizzly reality of vanity, narcissism, a life without consequence, and doing whatever it takes to be where you want to be. This is a really terrific Ewel records release and leaves me hoping to hear more from the The Black Black.  (JD)
Preview a tune and then buy the whole dang thing here!

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW MA: Matt Average

PINOCCHIO self-titled 7″ EP

PINOCCHIO – self-titled 7” EP

Toxic State Records

pinocchio cover

I’m turning 50 at the end of this month, and I’m jaded, cynical, and grumpy for the most part, but that’s how life plays out. Despite all that, every now and then I hear or see something that makes me believe that things aren’t all that shitty. Things like this Pinocchio EP. Sure, the cover is pretty bland, and easy to overlook, but get past that and you will be far more than pleasantly surprised. When I listen to this record it makes me think we’re on the cusp of some great era in punk. Maybe we’re in the midst of it already, I don’t know. What I do know for sure is this is one of the fucking best punk records I’ve heard in years, possibly the past couple decades (not like there’s any real stiff competition, but let’s not split hairs in my excitement). Listening to this EP gives me the same rejuvenating rush I felt when I latched on to punk in 1981. A new world rife with possibility, and everything sounded fresh and great. It makes me want to be involved, instead of standing at the back or on the sidelines. I listen to this and wonder what their live shows are like, and I would love to had been there when they were writing and recording these songs. Every song on here is inspired. Pinocchio inhabit a sound somewhere between punk and post-punk, but they’re not nailing their feet to the floor to stay in one place. It’s in doing so that gives them life and keeps them from being a reenactment band. The woman who sings has a great voice, and never delves into histrionics. Her focus aids in the sonic impact with the rest of the band. Imagine the Slits and the Delta 5 without the reggae influence crossed with early American hardcore. “My Time Vol.1” reminds me of the Talking Heads with its walking beat, minimal instrumentation and lyrics. They wrap it up in the second volume on the second side by cranking up the energy before reverting back and turning tables with the close “Your Time.”

The “Light Speed” trilogy brings the faster tempos into the fold and tilt towards mania at times. “Behind You”, which sits in between volumes two and three, floors every single time. The tempo is at a boil, a catchy as hell beat, and the vocals are in fine form. “Trick Plane” is godhead with the tribal percussion, confrontational attitude, and it’s brevity leaving you wanting more. (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA