BITS OF SHIT Cut Sleeves LP

I reckon Bits of Shit is one of the worst band names in recent memory. The reason I say I reckon is because these punks call the land down under home and that's how Aussie's talk. Australians have all sorts of cute ways of referring to otherwise boring things like cigarettes (“ciggies”) and roadies (“road beers”). They also have adorable accents, don't they? Anyhow, I reckon I'll drop the needle on this platter regardless of my reckoning and see how much shit I can talk about it before the stylus hits the center label on Lado B.

Side A starts with a very organic sounding, repetitive instrumental jam called "F." Before I finish listening to this platter, I'll come to realize that there's more than one instrumental song included—there's fuckin' three of 'em. Good on the snotty drunk punk vocalist Danny for showing some restraint. Most punk singers won't shut the fuck up for a minute and that's a damn shame. Get 'em blackout loaded like Darby so they forget to sing every once in a while, that's what I say, especially if they're all poetic and shit like Darby and Danny, then they're even better when they're fucked up.

Danny cruises in fashionably late on "Rock Sing" and stays with us for the remainder of the side belting out non-embarrassing lyrics over a bunch of proto-punk bangers that sonically bridge the gap between Ohio and NYC circa '76 and '96 simultaneously. All the songs are stellar, but "Patrol" is an instant classic; Hopefully, these working stiffs will tour America over summer break next year and we'll all find ourselves pumping our fists and shouting along to the chorus "Step between the Stones" sooner than later.

What I'm starting to realize as I flip this flipper is that this is punk music played by non-punks. These guys are far too tasteful and show way more restraint than anyone who'd run around calling themselves a punk in the year 2012. They're much tougher, to be sure, but their dynamic musicality is reminiscent of fellow Aussies, Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Not surprising then that this record was mixed and mastered by Mikey "ECSR, et al" Young.

The other side ups the ante as far as the tempo and brutality factors are concerned, but there's still plenty of melody to go around. The vocal-less blasting of "Reign" really stands out, until "Tally's World" kicks in, then it stands out even further. Again, I reckon, that qualifies this black circle as an outstanding record overall.

Outstanding and upstanding as well: Brendon NGL gets a dedication in the liner notes. Fuckin' A, guys. Well played.

So what happened here? Did the terrible album art lower my expectations so much that I found this to be one of the best records of 2012? Or is Cut Sleeves just simply that good? Decide for yourself, I'm just here to tell ya it's worth your consideration. [Homeless]

-Arsenic Blare

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