Every now and then, a package shows up at Primitive Futures headquarters from some dark corner of the globe bearing records that are a total mystery to us. It probably goes without saying that opening these mailers is always an adventure, one that could lead to the discovery of some heretofore unknown legend, a total stinker or something in between. We recently got one such delivery from Evil Weevil, a label run by a couple of guys based just outside of Philadelphia. The label’s apparently been pretty active lately, putting out primarily 7-inches, along with the stray LP or cassette. Judging by the three singles they sent us, there’s no “signature” Evil Weevil sound. While the style and quality of their releases may seem to vary a bit, there’s enough here to show that the label braintrust knows what it’s doing.
Captain, We’re Sinking, “For Joe Riley”
The vanilla appetizer is Captain, We’re Sinking’s “For Joe Riley.” The four-piece originated from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Evil Weevil has pegged them as a “gruffy pop punk band.” Fittingly, CWS sounds exactly like what you would imagine a pop-punk band from Scranton to sound like: something that would fit perfectly on the soundtrack to an American Pie sequel. The A-side, “The Ballad of Ichabod Crane,” is pure, straightforward pop-punk, maybe a heavier, less snotty NOFX. B-side “Manners Are Their Own Reward, Gentlemen” features a little more screaming and rapid-fire riffage, while “Foster Brothers” serves as the band’s touching punk ballad. There’s probably thousands of kids out there who would eat this stuff up, but it’s probably not going to be that satisfying to those with more refined palates.
Diarrhea Planet, Aloha EP
In my mind’s eye, I see Nashville’s unfortunately named Diarrhea Planet as an in-demand after-hours basement party band. “Powermoves” and “Where R U?” are upbeat rockers with some nice guitar licks scattered throughout. “Get Stimulated” is a little weirder and disjointed, making for a welcome counterpoint, a song that sounds joyously close to falling completely apart. The band really finds its groove on “Ghost with a Boner!” (yep, another unfortunate title), a sort of ecstatic, haphazard anthem with a hook that really sticks. These songs are short, potent blasts of youthful energy. You might not remember them when you wake up hungover at noon the next day, but I’m sure they sound like classics at 4am.
Pujol, “How High”
The real gem of the batch comes from Pujol, an act fronted by mastermind Daniel Pujol, who is joined by a couple of buddies for the two jams on this 7-inch. With perhaps a little prodding from Jack White, SPIN has touted Pujol as a Nashville act to watch, and admittedly they might be on to something here. On the surface, A-side “How High” sounds like standard garage pop, with its throaty screams and gritty production, but underneath it’s a fantastic, well-written pop song with great hooks that play nicely off each other. This is the rare song that reminds you of how hard it really is to make something sound so effortless, and it makes a convincing case for not flipping the record over. “Sliderz” ditches the distortion in favor of an acoustic guitar to no less effect. It’s groovier, but only slightly less melodic, and while it’s may not be the accomplishment that “How High” is, it still leaves you ready to track down the couple of other pieces of Pujol vinyl floating around out there.