Agony Shorthand

Thursday, July 15, 2004

So derivative & behind the eight ball you’d swear they were English – hey, they are English! And yet the REAL LOSERS, they of the exceptionally well-done web site, are one of the more pleasing hyper-fuzzed garage bands I’ve heard in a coon’s age, mostly because each of their derivative, unoriginal pounders is caked in a deep layer of squealing, ear-shredding grime that somehow taketh away whilst giving so much more. It’s not like it’s a brave new vision: slap an impenetrable coating of feedback on a mediocre garage punk song and hope that it does the trick. Except that it really works here, at least until the jig is up and you’re ready to switch to some 70s album-oriented rock or adult contemporary while that annoying red trickle in your ear hardens. And I think these three -- there’s a woman in the band code-named “Hot Dog” and the guitarist is known as “The Hand”! – are trafficking in some underhanded rock and roll irony here anyway; the way some of their over-the-top war whoops and multiple “right now, come on”s are strategically placed makes me think that there’s a right-on sense of humor guiding the band, sort of like a Rutles of garage punk if the Rutles were at all funny. My picks are the generic bashers “Feelin’ Loose” and “She Was Dumb” and the great CRIME homage “Crime Time”, each of which is a loose-limbed, volume-packed screamer & as raw as raw gets. A British GUITAR WOLF? Hey, why not?