Agony Shorthand

Tuesday, March 09, 2004
A-FRAMES : “NEUTRON BOMB” 7”EP….I’ve given Seattle’s A-FRAMES their fair share of props (and a few ribbings) on this site in the last year – I’d easily call them one of the most sonically exciting fifth-wave punk rock bands on the planet right now, and a band worth following whole-heartedly until the inevitable false moves are made. I’m coming to their earliest 45s just now, the 2001 releases that generated so much hoopla and attention in the first place – and which now change hands on eBay for $50-$75 routinely. Of those two, the debut 7”EP “Neutron Bomb / Radiation Generation / Test Tube Baby” is the real knockout punch – so head and shoulders above most of what passes for garage rock, punk rock or electro-rock in the 21st Century that I’ve no doubt it’ll still stand up tall and proud a couple of decades hence, when a far better name than mine for whatever racket it is they’re making has been coined & circulating on various retrospective compilations. All three have overmodulated, cascading riffs that slash & shred like a slab of sheet metal run through a grinder – the effect is just huge, and the sheer sweat, noise and volume has quite a pulse-quickening effect. You’d have to place this 45 on any decade’s-best list six years from now – at least the one I’m making. Pray it makes it to a compilation soon!