forgetters - forgetters [double 7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


forgetters [double 7-inch] (2010)

Too Small to Fail

forgetters can, at times, come off as willfully difficult. The limited touring. The all-lower case name. And after a year of waiting for recorded material, they finally dropped a double seven-inch with a single song on each side, maximizing the number of times I, an entitled American, have to get up and flip the wax. They make me work for it. Yet when the songs are playing, it pays off.

If forgetters weren't crammed with ringers, I wouldn't mind their low-key approach. But the band consists of Blake Schwarzenbach, Kevin Mahon and Caroline Paquita. These people have done time in Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil, Against Me! and Bitchin', respectively. If you enjoy any punk music from the last 20 years, you might be interested in their collective discography.

Let's this out of the way: forgetters kind of sounds like Schwarzenbach's other bands. They're more like Jawbreaker than Jets to Brazil--punk power trio with distorted guitar, powerful bass and one heck of a drummer. The lyrics are less scene-oriented than Jawbreaker's but not as opaque as JtB's could get. Songs are crammed with emotion and longing, but not in any visceral emo sense. "Vampire Lessons" is erotic. "Too Small to Fail" tries to find a glimmer of self-respect while dealing with lousy lovers. "Not Funny" is about an Afghani girl torn between her love for a soldier and her father. In trying to find a place between two cultures, the narrator concludes "Between the sand and moon there is no place for me."

For those who have followed Schwarzenbach's music over the years and just enjoy the way he writes, forgetters is rewarding. Folks looking for a good punk seven-inch can check this out too. The first half hits a little harder. "Vampire Lessons" is a little quasi-goth--it's about late-night sexy times--and it's all the more fun for it. "Too Small to Fail" is the physical and lyrical flipside to that, then. "Vampire Lessons" could be read as the sexual fun that greets a new relationship; "Too Small to Fail" is the fallout near the end. They're also super catchy. The second seven-inch is pretty good too. "Not Funny" furiously pounds eardrums as it sets it tale, while "The Night Accelerates" gently takes the listener out. The production is a little dry, but it suits the style.

It took nearly a year for forgetters to go from a studio to the open market, so I'm not sure if this is a teaser for an album or a placeholder for another year of gradual building. But it's been eight years since Jets to Brazil's Perfecting Loneliness, and I'll take four songs over none.