BROADWAY CALLS, BURN THE STAGE, LEE COREY OSWALD, ABSENT MINDS, ALL FALLS THROUGH
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) In the handful of years that have vanished since the release of the superb Good News, Bad Views, Portland-based punk act Broadway Calls have been relatively quiet. The culprits are the usual suspects—a switch in members and labels, plus the usual everyday dregs that harness the momentum of young bands—but the trio has emerged with a recording worthy of such a prolonged silence. Again teaming with production/drummer god Bill Stevenson, the wildly energetic Comfort/Distraction cements Broadway Calls' legacy as one of the last worthwhile survivors of the infertile pop-punk landscape. Stevenson's crisp production on Comfort/Distraction reminds us all of the time when Milo was still slogging away at college, while frontman Ty Vaughn's hook-heavy choruses follow a similar path to the band's closest not-quite-pop-punk peers, like those of the Gaslight Anthem, or the Menzingers (who open for Hot Water Music on Friday). There is little doubt Broadway Calls can make a Monday night release party in the doldrums of February inspirational. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
OFF!, NEGATIVE APPROACH, BAD ANTICS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) It was sweet on many levels when OFF! released their self-titled debut LP last year. Hearing punk rock so primal and pissy, where substance trumped style, was as refreshing as a urine cake on a Saturday night. Not to mention the band was fronted by OG Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris, a guy who's probably three times the age of most kids who call what they do punk. Morris is still pissed. It doesn't even matter how, or why—just know that he's going to spit one-minute fireballs of pure punk vitriol all night long. When Morris sings, "You think you're the king of the scene that you created" in "I Got News for You," it's just another way of saying, "Get off my lawn!" And you better listen. ML
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