Need it and get it! Radio’s guitar work is technically and rhythmically genius. Better? Can’t be. Rachel rocks right along with her on a stand-up drum set that features a hotel room-service dish cover for one of its symbols. Post-structuralist, deconstructive punk rock, the author is dead in this Catch-22 and Clockwork Orange image-provoking collection of punk rock tracks. Openly queer, in your face, Alices in Wonderland with piercings, steel-toed boots, and sweet tattoos, this is the Need.
I caught them at Modified in Phoenix. Late due to some sort of imploded transmission, the band of two arrived with humor and apologies. Loud, sci-fi, metal, Doors-like, Fahrenheit 451 movie-ish, and aggressive Sex Pistols energy, The Need took the stage in front of an eager audience and put on a super solid show to promote their latest CD.
The Need Is Dead is on the great Chainsaw label in Olympia, Washington. The tracks are eclectic and feature Radio’s wailing guitar riffs, Rachel’s sweet organ work, and powerful harmonies. With Adams Family sounds and creeping, crawling effects, wavering, high-pitched voices and baritone, stuttered shouts ring out through church bells and radioactive alarms to punctuate this fine record. The first track, “Circuit Side” starts with birds chirping and wind chime sounds and tick-tocks before it blows into a serious guitar solo that turns into staccato riffs and voices that trade places with eerily lovely melodies and a backwards-playing rock record. The creepy sneaking guitar on “2-Story Girl” aligns with a ‘60s organ and moves into a funky theremin-marked beat. “Blew Candy” is a mint track with lovely vocals, a smooth flow, and a great drum groove. The next track, “Vaselina,” has a light rock-opera beginning and then a grinding, heavy guitar hole-punched with good organ work. “Dear Diary” has a money Tron beginning and a rock guitar and symbol extravaganza that turns to Banshees vocals and crisp guitar riffs with funky organ work and sweet drum rolls. “Eva Carriere” follows with a slow moving, swaying futuristic sound and lovely harmonies. Then the album just rocks with the metal. “O Sally How’s It Feel With A Fake Hand?” is broken into three parts, each featuring smart lyrics and fine guitar and strong drum work. “Hellfire” is a speed metal crash with punk rock vocals, finger-flying guitar work, and furious drumbeats. The last track, “Mona Tinsley,” eases the album down to its end with lovely, lilting vocals and a funky, slightly eerie piano marked with a purring cat.
The Need Is Dead is an incredible punk record, and you need it! Get it.
// Notes from the Road
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