The Raging Nathans - Losing It (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Raging Nathans

Losing It (2014)

Rad Girlfriend Records

My first memory of the Raging Nathans is the cover of their self-titled seven-inch: A green-skinned zombie in a leather jacket, top of his head sawed off, brain exposed, standing in a filthy room adorned with Ramones and Propagandhi posters, puking a torrent of green slime upon which surfed the band’s logo. It looked as if the seven inch should come pre-smelling like someone had rolled a joint on its cover. I took one look and thought, this band is probably for me.

That seven inch was great, and their follow-up full-length, Losing It, picks right up where that gnarly slab of wax left off, though this time the album cover is not nearly as viscerally engaging (or off-putting, if you’re square). Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, the Nathans sonically are a snot-colored concoction swirling with chunks of Witches with Dicks, Screeching Weasel, and east bay pop-punk from the 90’s. Like a classic three-piece pop-punk band, the songs rely less on fancy guitar work and more on catchy choruses and bouncy, clangy-stringed bass lines, at once nostalgic yet fairly unique, like a Lookout! Records band raised under the stairs since 1992, finally led shambling out into the world by a rope leash.

The best moments on Losing It include the ultra-catchy “Free Parking” and “I’m On Drugs”, the Weasel-inspired burst of snarky energy that is “Brandi’s Got a New Job”, and two-minutes-and-change rollicker “Because, Fuck You”, a title which could double as the Raging Nathans’ mission statement. Also included on the album is “Going Down”, a banger from the aforementioned seven inch, worthy of a revisit.

I feel like there aren’t many three-piece pop-punk bands these days that can pull off what the Raging Nathans have pulled off here: a record that is raw yet listenable from front-to-back, full-sounding yet appropriately spare in its instrumentation, simple yet instilled with its own firm identity. This is the kind of music that sends me back in time to high-five my fourteen year old self, and tell him while the future’s kinda hit-or-miss overall, at least there’s some good punk rock to look forward to.