The Washdown - The Washdown (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Washdown

The Washdown (2002)


This review could be one sentence long: "If you like The Hives and The International Noise Conspiracy and can't get enough of that garage rock, you will like The Washdown." I guess I'll say a little more.

The first thing I noticed upon getting this was the sweet-looking CD. It is like a mini-CD (there is only 13 minutes of music on this EP), with the remainder of the disc made of clear plastic, reminiscent of the NOFX "The Decline" disc. Then I noticed that this is on Lookout! Records. It's been quite some time since I got any CDs off Lookout!, and this was not something I would expect from them. It's a pleasant surprise that they are expanding their label's sound.

This is good stuff. Not real original stuff, especially these days with bands like The Hives, The Strokes, The Vines, and The White Stripes having already caught the mainstream's attention. (Do you need to have a band that starts with "The" to be garage rock?) They sound a lot like all of these bands in some way or another. They use the lo-fi recording sound and distorted vocals of these bands, and a similar dirty guitar sound. They are less simplistic than the Strokes, and more rockin' than the Vines (who only have one really good song), and with occasional squeaks and squeals, the vocals remind me of the Hives.

One thing that stands out are the guitars, for The Washdown's guitar parts have more to them than most of these bands, and there are actually two different part going on most of the time, justifying the band having two guitars. Also, the bass parts are actually interesting too, they doesn't just back up the guitar. The drums are nothing spectacular, but they supply a strong backbeat to dance to, and that's what these fellas are looking for.

These guys have the energy to stand up to the rest of the pack. No slow or long songs are to be found on the EP, the energy stays high throughout the disc. "Caligula" would have to be my favorite track, with its sweet guitar and bass riffs, it's pounding punk-inspired beat in the opening, and screams of "Dance!" As is usual with EPs, this disc leaving me wanting to hear more. However, it also leaves me wondering if they could pull off a full length with the same energy. We'll have to wait and see. If you aren't sick of garage rock yet, you'll want to check out The Washdown.