It’s hard to know what any Pleasureboaters song is about because the lyrics are unintelligible. But it’s pretty clear that understanding is not what the band is looking for. The band is punk in the spirit of Fugazi—less focus on chorus or riffs than on bassline and mood. Within the confines of this often limiting genre, the band manages to provide variety and depth. Check out the lament of “D’Jeff,” for example. Or the powerpop (under all the hoarse screaming) of “State of the Union,” which begins with an explosion, moves along a chuggy baseline, and crashes to an end as sudden as its beginning. Truly surprising is the first half of “Leopard Print Babyware,” which is whined, not sung or screamed like most of the tracks on the record.
The Seattle trio make great use of dischord, violent thrashing, and general noise. At the same time, Gross!, their debut album, is quite well produced, so it doesn’t descend into murk and fuzz. If you’re a fan of no-wave punk rock, visit Don’t Stop Believin’ Records and pick up a copy.
For fans of: Kings of the Left, Fugazi, Die! Die! Die!, Sonic Youth, McLusky, Black Flag.