We can safely say that Gestapo Khazi is the meowiest of the cat’s meows. With John “Holy” Roller’s biting vocals, it doesn’t matter that we can’t tell exactly what he’s saying, because it always sounds deep. Ocean deep. Good thing the Gestapos include a trusty hand-screenprinted lyric guide with each 12” album. Gestapo Grazi opens with a moody bassline on “Smoke Signals,”—the first track on the 12”—to establish the bright but angsty tone of the record. Clever drumbeats courtesy of Third Reich Meich bring out the melodic flavor like a smoked gouda brings out the bubbles in champagne. As major reverb enthusiasts, we very much enjoy Stark Raving Erik’s reverbed guitar tone, most especially on “Time Eats Time” and “Come One, Come All.” “Open House”—on the split 7”—takes it up one or five notches. More thrash, more spaz, more choke your mama ’til she done bleed. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard a modern punk band pull off a unique ’80s/romantic sound—like if Native Tongue and Bauhaus had a threesome with the Cramps in an echoey cave. And we likes it!
—Jenna Eyrich and Troy Bootow