Cool Devices: Cool Devices

[2 August 2009]

By Chris Conaton

It’s clear from the first note of Cool Devices self-titled debut release that the band is all about punk. Named after an infamous hentai anime and offering song titles like “Fatso”, “Come Get Me” and “Someone Stop Them”, Cool Devices is also fronted by one Jason Fredrick. Fredrick has been the vocalist for about a half-dozen different punk bands (the Means, the Spiveys and Love Story in Blood Red) over the years, though none of them were even close to famous.

The seven songs collected here are sloppy, noisy and angry but not too angry because the band also sounds like it is having a hell of a lot of fun. Songs like “(This is Not a) White World” and “Fatso” are typical breakneck punk, but Cool Devices are also willing to slow things down. “Once I Became One of Those” is a heavy dirge about life in small-town America. “Come Get Me” marches along, and “Primitive”, driven by Casey Meehan’s synth, actually approaches something like a mid-tempo dance beat. Above it all, Fredrick shouts his way through the lyrics in classic punk fashion. There isn’t a lot of melody to be found here, but it isn’t tuneless either, as the guitars and synth occasionally stumble on something resembling a catchy riff. These songs aren’t amazing, but this self-titled release is at least a solid beginning for Cool Devices.

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