WHAM! ZWAP! KAPOW! VRONK! !OX?-ETH!
Quel bel assourdissant, Batman!
Fire Retarded plays the kind of music that warrants onomatopoeia cards. It’s second nature to them. And on their debut, Scroggz Manor, you have to imagine a ticker of these wonderful wordnoises running behind of your eyes, twixt your auditory channels.
For those of you unfamiliar with the group, Fire Retarded is a Madison, WI garage punk band that’s been roiling from club to club since ye olden days of 2012. This album is the first proper pone the group has released, besides a host of singles and demos on their Bandcamp.
The release is short—11 songs in 29 minutes—but don’t let that dampen your enthusiasm. It’s a real ride. Take opener “Locks & Looks,” for instance: replete with riffs that sound like they’re being shaken out of a thunder sheet.
While most of the songs veer toward short bursts—like the shuffling delights of “Brain Burger” and “Dicktator”—but there are a few that touch on longer territory. “Locks & Looks” is one of them. The other is “Overrated Kayak,” this reviewer’s favorite song on the album. Starting off with some acoustic guitar plucking to cut through the slabs of electric riffing, the song winds itself into a whirlpool of noise. The jam is delightful; the guitars are beautifully slippery, crying razor-sharp like seagulls trailing a ship’s wake.
Lest you think the rest of Scroggz Manor is just a blur of noisy attitude, well, yeah it is. Get with the times! The album’s committed to driving forward in a haze of enthusiasm, clambering down the “Meat Stairs” like a pack of kids careening toward summer. They might as well be, since Scroggz Manor sounds best through a wafting humid Midwest night.
Don’t adjust your sets, Internet. Fire Retarded’s here to hit you up like SWA-A-P! ZLONK! BIFF! CLANGEL!