Youth Riot

Funny Face Dog in Hell cassette

This cassette is a true time machine. Absolutely no part of this release would have me believe that it came out in the year 2022, aside from it being expressed that it was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic on the back panel, of course. Catchy and instantly memorable ’90s-sounding indie/alternative rock—I keep seeing comparisons to THEE OH SEES on the band’s Bandcamp page and such, but I just don’t hear that. While this does have some jangly, fuzzed-out guitars and an undeniable pop sensibility, none of their songs feel as driving as the more up-beat OH SEES songs or as out there as their kooky psychedelic jammy ones. I hear more of a mix of DINOSAUR JR. and a bit of that first KING TUFF record.

Sleepover Club W​(​ph​)​oopsie! LP

This LP humorously starts off with the statement “I love Geddy Lee and Geddy Lee loves me.” Fortunately, the RUSH worship ends there. The songs are short blasts of musical fun. It’s lo-fi with attitude. Hi-fi with altitude. Bratty and goofy. A great listening experience.

Wimps City Lights LP

There’s plenty to love about a three-piece of Seattle DIY vets laying out simple, confident, and melody-packed punk with a tinge of pop and garage. If “my shit” could be narrowly defined this would fall well within its parameters. From the midtempo beats that boogie in the pocket to the charmingly disaffected vocals of Rachel Ratner, these tracks keep up the momentum set in motion on their previous full-length (released on the iconic Kill Rock Stars). There is some of that KRS flavor here without relying heavily on ’90s nostalgia, but there is that Gen X slacker patina that still fires me up well into the new millennium. A track like “Big Dipper,” with its garage-y swagger, or the snotty follow-up “Never Leave the House” both showcase the group’s strengths beautifully. The lyrics are impressively simple as well, with condensed rhythms and repetition all with an ear for satisfying rhyme scheme. “Doing It” has plenty of gems such as the ever-relatable line “I pretend to be funny, but I never get the joke / I never spend my money, but I always end up broke / Don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it.” When it comes to the music, though, these are clearly folks who have known what they’re doing for a while now.