November 26th, 2013 | Album reviews

Viola Tada


If you start playing this in your car, as I did, you’ll be incapable of ever removing it. The word “garage rock” has been bandied about with these Kansas City punk rockers, but that’s an inadequate description of the sweet meat–what we have here has the “nothing left to lose” gleefulness of late-era, pre-hardcore first generation punk: I’m talking Wire, or Killing Joke, or “Not All Right”-era Germs, maybe even a little Subhumans—I mean the U.K. ones, but it works either way, just name your faves and you’ll hear a little flavor here. Of course, this may not be as political or un-ironic as the punk of those early days, but what it lacks in “Kids Are United” grandeur it more than makes up for in the gleeful dual female/male vocals, the female ones provided by Sarica Douglas with the kind of Manson-girl sonorousness that sounds like Pauline Murray of Penetration had decided to do a little creepy-crawling—until she changes it up and gets all Dinah Cancer on tracks like “Grave.” Her male compatriot and guitarist is Brock Potucek, famous mostly for illustrating the pages of L.A. RECORD! But he’s also been in bands like Holy Shit with Ariel Pink, and if you’re wondering how he could move from that kind of project to this, listen closely to the noise ornamentation that flits about the outskirts of the songs—each time it goes round in your car stereo, you’ll pick out more little bits that reveal the band’s secret obsession with avant-classical mystery.
D.M. Collins