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We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.
Album: Meltdown by Mind Spiders, out now on Dirtnap Records.
Press play if you like: Jay Reatard; dueling drummers; the Ramones; drinking a six-pack in under 30 minutes.
Some background: Garage rock has offered any number of flag-wavers in recent years: the dirtied-up girl-group songs of Vivian Girls and Best Coast, the smoldering stomp of Ty Segall, and the psychedelic crunch of bands on the Woodsist label, among others. But between the fertile San Francisco and New York scenes, a few Denton, Texas acts have established a raucous sound of their own. Mind Spiders’ Meltdown builds on the charred punk of 2011’s self-titled debut with a two-drummer assault and thicker arrangements that embrace the occasional keyboard and lay clean, melodic basslines over the guitar fuzz. Tracks such as “Play You Out” and “On The Radio” still offer the brisk hooks and rapid-fire strumming lo-fi purists hunger for, though elsewhere the band tries out Ariel Pink-style glam (“Skull-Eyed”), cerebral post-punk (“Join Us Now”) and a disorienting noise collage (“Meltdown”). Throughout, the production thrives on abrasive, digitally seared recordings that turn tracks such as “Wait For Us” into a wash of violent treble. The band’s current incarnation shares members with fellow Denton band Bad Sports, whose recent Kings Of The Weekend is another worthy, more straightforward amp-melting excursion. It’s worth mentioning that the Portland-based Dirtnap also released the Exploding Hearts’ seminal 2003 debut Guitar Romantic, a speaker-frying classic that paved the way for the new generation of noisemakers.
Try this: “Wait For Us,” a hard-driving rocker with an unsteady lead guitar that hints at the band’s expanded sound.