Amateur Party - Truncheons in the Manor [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Amateur Party

Truncheons in the Manor [12-inch] (2011)


Part-time Philly indie-punkers Amateur Party had a solid and socially relevant record in 2009's Public Utility Complaint 7", offering spiky melodic punk akin to Armalite, who they share members with (as well as Off Minor and Kill the Man Who Questions). So it's quite the surprise how different their first proper LP, Truncheons in the Manor sounds.

Truncheons in the Manor is far more reminiscent of the classic punk, pop and occasionally reggae-infused songs Ted Leo and the Pharmacists rocked out on early 2000s records like Hearts of Oak and Shake the Sheets. Opener "On College Kids and Gang Signs" starts with off-kilter strums that instantly bring Fugazi or Minutemen to mind, but then ravels into the band's m.o.: playful guitars and melodies with more culturally critical lyrics. "The Place That You Live" and "Let Youth Be Your Drug" and its yelping chorus warrants the above comparison well, too, while co-ed vocals in "Kerri Writes Websites" and the riot grrrl/folk punk-infused "Even Now They Would Move Against Us" add flavor to the proceedings.

Punkier moments abound, though. "Simpatico" is a bit faster and spastic, like a speedier Superchunk, but slows down for restrained jamming in its last minute, while choppier, stomping aggression filtered through the band's more lighthearted approach gives a conclusive lift to "From the Parish Born...".

This is a nice change of pace from the little-known act, but it's also a worthy first impression for a deserving rush of newcomers.

Truncheons in the Manor