Acid Fast play really angst-y yet bouncy punk rock that is rooted as deeply in the Midwest sound as it is the Pacific Northwest. But here’s the thing: they’re not from Olympia or Minneapolis or Portland or Chicago; they’re from Oakland. But goddamn, if they don’t sound like a band that came up playing damp basements alongside The Soviettes, RVIVR, Mean Jeans, or The Brokedowns. At times it’s a bit imitative but that’s easily forgivable since it’s also incredibly charming thanks to the melodic male-female vocal tradeoff, and really rockin’ because of the fuzzy bass, driving drums, and spirited guitar.
It’s the awesomely-named Hannah Conda’s presence on Rabid Moon that really keeps the album from treading too far into derivative wearisomeness. Although it works quite well when she is adding backups to Frank Mann’s best Blake Schwarzenbach-like lead vocals, the standout songs are the ones where she takes center stage. Songs like “Old Idea”, “Rupert”, and “Tease” are heart string-y numbers whose lo-fi melodies conjure memories of any number of female-fronted ‘90s alt-rock darlings as much as they do the modern masters like Gateway District.
Rabid Moon strikes me as the kind of release that will either fly largely under the radar, adored only by the underground, or will end up catching the ear of some big shot taste-making webzine and blowing the F up. (You’re welcome.) It’s a damn fine record, and although stylistically very different, is right up there with Iron Hand’s Injected Fear and Brain F≠’s Empty Set as one of best punk full-lengths of the year so far.
8.0 / 10
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Posted Dec. 17, 2013, 11:41 a.m.
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