House Boat - Processing Complaints [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

House Boat

Processing Complaints [7-inch] (2010)

Traffic Street

House Boat's "members of" history reads like a pop-punk encyclopedia. When you've spent time in bands like the Ergs!, the Steinways, Dear Landlord, Off with Their Heads and the Copyrights, well, that's one hell of a pedigree. And the band's new EP, Processing Complaints, lifts elements from each of those acts to create a fun listen.

"DC Presents: Inferiority Complex, Volume 420" serves as the opening track here, and it's mostly carried by a driving pace and a catchy chorus. Most or all members contribute vocals here and there, keeping that part of the equation interesting. The band constructs a power-pop gem with "Payment Plan." The somber manner in which Grath sings "I wake up and cry because I'm all alone / So tired to try staying at home" is, unfortunately perhaps for him, a great moment here.

"Kids of the Black Hole Sun" (Copyrights reference! Meta!) and "The Self-Aware Octopus" is where Mikey Erg most makes his presence felt behind the mic, which ought to be a welcome site for any Ergs! fans pining away for one last reunion show. Those two songs segue into the 70-second closer "Tired Pleas" and just like that, Processing Complaints is over before anyone realizes it.

Brevity plus hooks equals extra replay value, so don't fight the urge to move that needle back to the start of the record. You won't be alone.