Agony Shorthand

Saturday, March 29, 2003
THE HUNCHES -- "YES. NO. SHUT IT"....Much-touted, ultra-intense garage punk panic-rock band from Portland, OR, with a debut CD that'll clear the cobwebs from your noggin but good. Most HUNCHES tracks come on very, very strong and mean -- with the primal grunt of an imaginary 60s punk-inspired Birthday Party revved up with the uber-intensity of prime US hardcore punk a la Negative Approach or The Necros. In fact, I'm willing to bet there's more than one Laughing Hyenas record in the young singer's collection, as he's got the John Brannon deep-throat wail down to a note-perfect copy. This winning formula is squeezed a bit throughout the CD -- by its end you will certainly have gotten the point -- but track to track, it's among the strongest of its tribe. I can't remember anything as wild and as fucked-up since the BASEBALL FURIES' first 45 or even LOLI AND THE CHONES from like 6 years ago! Take a spin around careening-all-over-the-place numbers "Let Me Be", "10,000 Miles", "Chainsawdomy", and you'll see these kids aren't fooling around. They've done their homework, too, as they close with a tantruming cover of the Electric Eels' "Accident". Young panic rock bands such as this always seem to shoot their wads early and break up quickly, but here's hoping these guys and gal can keep it together & keep it evolving for another two or three records.