Weird Party, The Secret Lives of Men
You’ve got to love a band (and EP) that makes its mission statement clear right from the word “go.” Weird Party’s new 7″ EP, The Secret Lives of Men, does just that, blowing the quasi-artiness of the title apart with an introductory frenzied, wall-rattling blast of guitar noise as soon as first track “Euphoria Morgue” kicks in; if you didn’t know what you were in for before, you’d damn well better know now.
Of course, things do coalesce after that initial squall, with the band cranking down into a driving, tightly-wound ball of spiky post-punk fury, more akin to Steel Pole Bathtub or — yes, I’ll get it out of the way right here — frontman Shawn Adolph’s former band, the Fatal Flying Guilloteens, than anything else I can think of. It’s raw and snarling, with the guitars sounding like they’re being barely held in check like dogs on an ever-fraying leash while Adolph sneers and screams (and holy shit, can he scream like a fucking madman).
At first glance, followup track “I Don’t Want You To Know” sounds a hell of a lot more straightforward, a nicely chugging, stomping chunk of garage-rawk that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a Born Liars album or an long-lost Estrus Records comp. Listen a little closer to the lyrics, though, and the song turns out to be sharper and smarter than it initially seems; it’s bitter and recriminatory and surprisingly direct for a song that’s, well, about telling lies.
Adolph nonchalantly says, yeah, I lied to you because I didn’t want you to know, before declaring, “You stepped out on me / Now I’m stepping out on you.” A verse later, though, it shifts around, to where the Adolph/The Narrator wants to tell the truth, seemingly to prove he’s not the man the girl thinks he is — although it doesn’t sound like there’s much regret going on, just basically a big middle finger held high.
“How The Breast Stung” spins faster and wilder, careening around in a fun, half-drunken haze punctuated by stop-start bursts of sharp-edged guitar while Adolph howls lyrics about how he’s bored with it all (I think? They’re kind of hard to make out…). Things take a more menacing turn towards the end, with the guitars see-sawing dangerously back and forth and steadily building to an explosive climax, with Adolph roaring, “I don’t know what you are anymore,” before the lights go out. (And no, I’ve got no idea what the title of the track means.)
Closer “Birth Spasms” follows closely on that dark, murky road, with sinister-sounding laughter echoing around the edges of your hearing as the band churns and pounds their way along. The paranoia builds and builds ’til that final explosion and subsequent collapse. This — all of this EP, not just this track — is music that’s meant to be listened to at headphone-destroying volume. As the guitars stab and spiral around, it’s flat-out hypnotic, like staring into the eyes of a venomous snake.