Retox – YPLL Retox – YPLL

Retox - YPLL (2013)

Retox – YPLL (2013)

I’ve had J Lo in my head all day. “My Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Jenny from the Block” (respectively) limping back and forth incessantly in a grotesque dance of delusion and excess while I pulled floorboards, slung refuse, displaced studs and almost learned the proper use of a Sawzall the very fucking hard way.

And it sucked.

Not because I’ve turned to demolition as a pit stop (or long term…who knows anymore?) vocation while that deplorable piece of glitter meat sleeps on a big bed of pop cash and still has (had?) the audacity to claim approachable, urban legitimacy at any phase of her swollen endorsement deal of a career but because her music fucking stinks. It’s pablum for the preening masses whose fat asses have swallowed the sun and left the rest of us to jitter broke and cautiously in the shadows waiting for the day the empire comes undone.

So, of course, I’m listening to Retox now because in the dozen some years I’ve been acquainting myself with the music of Justin Pearson (first in The Locust, then Swing Kids, then Crimson Curse and Head Wound City, Holy Molar, Some Girls, All Leather, Ground Unicorn Horn and now this) his work has always proved an antidote to whatever fucked up thing had me grumbling down.

Perhaps antidote isn’t the right word. I’d hate to give anyone the impression that what Retox does on their new record, YPLL is anything remotely like a feel good NOW! sonic invective. It’s more like that scene in The Karate Kid where Daniel-san is getting shit beat on Halloween by Cobra Kai only instead of Pat Morita cast-typing his way in to save the day, there appears a shell-shocked Vietnam Vet with a shotgun, a hatchet and a frothing pack of mutts some of whom are missing eyes, the rest of which are half-Chihuahua and there are no morality tales to tell the next day because there are no survivors. Just blood and guts and Ralph Macchio finding a less straight-to-TV career trajectory.

And your childhood being fucked, of course, but that’s beside the point.

YPLL is a nasty little record (clocking in at twenty-two minutes) that riddles its personal as sociopolitical death throes between weirdo damage punk and the lost art of fuck you hardcore and as much as I love to shout my admiration for Mr. Pearson to the grey hills of a dying civilization, much of the album’s merit rests in the instrumental wonder of the band. The rhythm section of Brian Evans and Thor Dickey is taut as a last nerve breaking into a hundred pulsing and condemnable epithets and Michael Crain…goddamn, man…that dude’s guitar sounds like a laser beast juggling chainsaws with a John Holmes v. Desireé Cousteau late 70s in Berlin prick. Combine those three with the humane lynchpin of Mr. Pearson’s spit growl tenor and what you’ve got is a retching hate machine against the American apocalypse.

And though I hope I won’t be returning to YPLL with any degree of consistency (chronic angst is exhausting), I will keep it in the back of my mind for those nights when giving a shit what anyone says or does or thinks just doesn’t hold water and I will drink a beer and shave my head and jump on my bed and shout long-winded curses at the ceiling.

Works every time.

Retox – YPLL Tracklist:

1. Modern Balls
2. Mature Science
3. Don’t Fall In Love With Yourself
4. You Lost Me At “It Wasn’t My Fault”
5. Congratulations, You Are Good Enough
6. Soviet Reunion
7. Greasy Pslams
8. I’ve Had It Up To Here, I’m Going To Prison
9. The Art of Really, Really Sucking
10. Biological Process of Politics
11. Nose to Tail
12. Consider the Scab Already Picked

Retox - YPLL, reviewed by Charles on 2013-05-23T03:27:52-07:00 rating 3.8 out of 5

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