Amateur Party - Public Utility Complaint [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Amateur Party

Public Utility Complaint [7 inch] (2009)


It's hard not to let the elaborate packaging and artwork of Amateur Party's Public Utility Complaint 7" overshadow the actual music on the record, but man, just look at it. All copies were screenprinted and assembled by hand, with 22 different cover possiblities -- all photos of AP's friends; the one sent to me has Dan Yemin in winter gear screaming at a toy dinosaur. Then, the liner notes are constructed in book form with full lyrics and spelling out the band's intention to raise awareness of Act 201, a law pushed by the Pennsylvania Gas Works and Peco Energy Co. that made it considerably easier for gas and electric companies to terminate service. That, of which, resulted in record numbers of PA residents losing heat and electricity, a pretty awful fortune when the winter months roll through.

Despite the lavish love put into what's meant to catch the eye (and mind), Amateur Party's spiky melodic punk manages to catch the ear just enough too. The lazy comparison is to call them a more serious-sounding and sometimes mid-tempo Armalite, but since they share a member or two and the influences are likely quite similar (mid-`80s punk from both D.C. and Cali), why not? The catchiest here is the ironically upbeat "Gun Fever," lamenting the death of city kids courtesy of gun violence and adding somewhat somber feedback in the late goings to emphasize the mourning a bit more.

Definitely a solid little release with a very genuine and thoughtful intent, and pretty decent tunes to back it.

Public Utility Complaint
Gun Fever
Waiting for the Reconstruction