Akimbo Harshing Your Mellow

This Seattle band have been hovering just beneath the radar for a handful of years now but this re-release of their 2001 debut proves they’ve been worthy of far more attention from the get-go. Album opener "Paul Reuben’s Theater” kicks off with an innocent-sounding punk riff but soon lurches into frantic, near-Jesus Lizard territory. "Lick the Knife” almost has melody but is still a jagged, noisy, short blast of noise. "Life in the Noose” gets more intense, with an old-school Neurosis approach, while "I Wish the Dead Could Come Back to Life so I Could Kill You Again” alternates between a near-polka beat and thrashed-out noise punk. Finding a home both spiritual and sonically alongside trailblazers as diverse as the Minutemen and Ed Gein, Akimbo bridge gaps between punk, metal and noise rock that have no right being crossed, with every moment of every song being filled with a frantic energy of unruly proportions. Despite the fact this was originally released on Dopamine and Amalagate Records, this sounds like the sort of thing that could only truly find a home on Alternative Tentacles, nestled between those unsold piles of underrated Damad and Man Is the Bastard CDs. And that raw, bass-heavy production sound just makes me crave this thing even more. (Alternative Tentacles)