Tha Retail Simps


Tha Retail Simps Reverberant Scratch: 9 Shots in tha Dark LP

July was a blur, so somehow I missed seeing THA RETAIL SIMPS both times they played Portland on their West Coast tour. I’ve resolved that within myself by just listening to their record almost every day in August so far. When the rollicking piano starts on “Hit & Run,” you can tell the band is not afraid to boogie and create a groove. It’s rhythmically rare these days, since so many bands I hear in the punk world either wanna be stiff, be fast, be brutal, be technical, be anything but hip-shaking. “Love Without Friction” sounds like a no wave twist contest, leading into “End Times Hip Shaker Pts. 1 & 2,” which has a grindin’ riff like a ANDRE WILLIAMS B-side before giving it a lysergic dip into a fully fuzz-drenched freakout. “Dozen a Dime” cools it down with a downer folk bongo bummer, but the rave-ups continue in the last half. “Summertime” stands out with a nasty distorto biker movie riff and a fully fucked-up but funky clavinet solo, and it’s these juxtapositions and stylistic slurries that make the record stand out. The songs are strong enough on their own, but all the disparate sonic references give the music texture and character. THA SIMPS have made a record that’s loose, noisy, goofy, danceable, and weirdly one of a kind, full of reverence for rock’n’roll but not so studious as to take any of it too seriously.