Friday, March 9, 2018

Listen to the Sad Self Deprecating Punk Sway of the album "Ramen" by Sadgasm

Sadgasm (a band outside of the Simpsons universe) out of Salem, Oregon is collectively Andy Alvarez (vocals / guitar), Jon Garcia (drums), Austin Antrican (bass) and Gravy Brink (guitar) and they craft or maybe spurt out lo-fi goodness on their album "Ramen". Listen to songs like Making Love in 3/4 or Trim Photo To Fit and you are transported to that youthful place of self doubt and longing to be with that person you love, want to love, or crush on or be with until it hurts. Amid the buzzy static canned vox there is a sad, sometimes tortured thing going on that is lovely stuff really. As in all garage rock with surf punk strains there is some familiar territory here but these guys own their sound. Sadgasm has the kind of sad romanticism of a band like the Buttertones roughed up and blended with the self deprecating punk of early Pangea.

In the song Puke, Andy starts singing, "I know I'm not enough for you to like my guts cause I'm always fucked up and I drink too much" and in the chorus he sings, "when you close your eyes I will sing this song to you until I die cause you've been on my mind and I love when you call me late at night" and this is kind of the Sadgasm universe in a nutshell. It is universal feelings at it's core, things we've all felt. Most of the songs swim in this angst and splash around a lot. There is a fun tone but a couple of the tracks feel dark like Couple's Massage which rides on the rails on an almost REM-ish guitar picking progression and Car Crash which in true punk fashion has some violent imagery but within the context of the entire album it plays out more metaphorical than actual (a good thing). It is tortured stuff and I can see a young crowd swaying to it in some punk club in between moshing.

On the very first track Cum On Andy waxes poetic on sad things in a seemingly sad town or place. There is a lot of reliving old ghosts, wasting time and a fair amount of feeling sorry for yourself or decrying someone doing so. The chorus melody is kind of beautiful and fuck, he uses the word "copious" in the song. The song is sad, beautiful and in it's retrospection smart. When the song ends and Barnyard Fun starts with it's kind of unbridled swing and catchy guitar hook you feel sad but hopeful. Yes, the album "Ramen" is tasty and more nutritious then you would think at first glance.

Robb Donker

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