15 March, 2015

T-Shirts Soaring To The Sound of Shrieking Recorders: Soup Moat, "Enjoy Your Hobbies" 7"

It's not often that a band triangulates themselves so well, but Milwaukee band Soup Moat kind of asked for it when they wrote that their 7" was "RIYL if you like: Karp." They also wrote a few other bands as well, but why let that get in the way of a point I'm trying to make on a Saturday night while lying in bed perfecting my repulsoid recluse act. Now Soup Moat isn't a Karp ripoff, but you can hear the influence all over this very brief 5-song single. Like Karp, this band specializes in a kind of boozy, heavy, riffy camaraderie that sounds like it would be an insane amount of fun live - the kind of band you would want to see with your friends on a Friday night while doing semi-hardcore-informed jumping around in an impromptu pit, making insanely specific references to late-'90's WWF matches and shotgunning tallboys of Hamm's. (I live in Wisconsin; this is how we get down.) And like Karp, this band has a real penchant for roaring out unison gang vocals in their songs in order to make their music sound that much more chummily anthemic. In fact, the vocalists' rhythmic emphasis on "Comfy One" calls to mind "Get No Toys (When You Pay The Money)" off of Suplex.

I like it best when Soup Moat gets a little weirder and funnier with the overall sound that they have going on. "nevernotfuckedup" fits that bill nicely, mixing badly edited loops of harrumphs and a recorder played worse than you did in preschool with a very funny and very knowingly stupid hardcore parody about, fittingly enough, how often the band dudes party. "Uptowner Girl" also gets a lot of mileage out of a solid hook and some of the funniest lines on the 7".

However, the odd thing about this release (YAHTZEE!) is how short the songs are. Brevity may well be the soul of wit, and this band definitely prides themselves on their jokes. But these guys aren't the Minutemen, and when the longest song is 1:52, the average length is 1:05 or so and there are 5 cuts total, it's kind of hard for the songs to really take much hold after a few listens. Now if all the songs had tons of different parts in that length of time, it'd be another story - but Soup Moat write the kinds of songs that seem to cry out for at least a little more running time and a little more development. And that's basically where I am with it: I think this band has the potential to lay down some really well-written and hilarious 3-minute sludge-n'-roll anthems, and I hope they let themselves stretch out enough to write those songs in the future. As it is, it's all a little too foreshortened - but any band which has the gall and observational eye to shout "T-shirts smelling like an onion patch" has a good chance of doing something really awesome soon enough.

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