reviewed by Michael Thomas
Last we checked on Deathsticks, formerly of Peterborough but now based in Ottawa, they were demonstrating the sheer pleasure of yelling shit and pounding the hell out of their instruments. DETHSTYX remains fun as hell to listen to, and this time around Deathsticks try out something new while also teaming up with a ferocious band from Saint John, self-deprecatingly called Right Shitty and self-described as “four underemployed, uneducated deaf rats.” I mean, how can this not be awesome?
Though “Local Favourites” looks like one big long track, it’s actually four songs played consecutively. Why? As Laura Klinduch and Matt Post of Deathsticks explained in an email, “maybe to test people’s attention spans, to see if they can make it all the way through, but also who knows why we do these things.” Listening to all four songs with no break (okay, there’s a small applause break at one point) makes for quite an experience.
The four songs are recognizably four songs, each with slightly different (though all extremely powerful) energies, from the smothering atmosphere of the first song to the almost danceable punk energy of the final song. Frankly I didn’t understand most of what Post and Klinduch are singing in these songs, but as I explained in my previous review of them, who cares? Don’t you want to yell and melt faces with your guitar? Why aren’t you doing that? The one bit of very clear vocals from Klinduch on “Buzzkill,” the second song, in which she repeats, first with an air of confusion and then blind rage, “What the fuck’s going on?” In certain sections of that song, she adds on afterward “What do you want me to say?”
Meanwhile, Right Shitty show their power in different ways. Their sound overall is a bit more polished, though still fitting with the anger-rock vibe of Deathsticks. The sound is a bit grungier, but you can feel the musicians seething in the lyrics. Their restraint is a great way to show just how much steam is building up. “Bandaid” and “Empathy” are angry in slightly different ways, but paint a clear picture of the kind of existential angst worth singing about.
If you want to smash things or stalk around your room in anger, this split is the one for you.
Top Tracks: All of them
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)