Overnight Lows – City of Rotten Eyes

(Goner Records) http://www.konkurrent.nl

A great thrashy record, this one; brim-full of riffs, snarls and yells, and a definite throwback to the glorious mess made by punks on labels like Colorado’s Local Anesthetic, or Belgium’s Demolition Derby: I know they’re from Tennessee, but this record also reminds me of the Inner City Sound compilation that documented the Australian alternative scene of the late seventies. In essence, the City Of Rotten Eyes is a small town punk album at its absolute best. And just look at the titles; Stop Looking at Me, Dirty Looks, Bad Times, you really couldn’t parody this, and why should you?

The twelve tracks don’t really deviate too much from a template set with the marvellous opener and title track: namely a furious kaleidoscope of choppy riffs played at breakneck speed, topped with some whining, angry declamations. In fact, the first track to adopt a slightly slower pace is Low Road, which is the ninth song out of twelve, and this is hardly a crooner, more like a cocky Pistols or Stooges judder. There are some gloriously snotty moments too: Dirty Looks is one such tale of (cod) teenage alienation and Shut Up Looking at Me is a funny slab of small town paranoia.

It’s exhilarating stuff that’s for sure.