Let’s face it: punk’s never been at a loss for boring music. Half the time, the hottest garage band du jour is just a patchwork of a 70’s overplayed legend, an 80’s hardcore idol, and some placid 90’s sadboys. But Pampers (NYC) offers something different: perhaps not entirely original but definitely ripping, groovy, fun music. From the get-go, this album is obsessed with doing what it wants to do – and having a blast doing it. “Purple Brain” has so much echo it’s like a hall of mirrors full of screaming, giddy party-goers; infectious nonsensical gang vocals cut through a super-bassy mix of old-school punk riffs, breathing some new life into chord progressions you’ve likely heard a thousand times. But that bassy mix comes back to haunt you on “Shot” – it swarms your ear with sound like a transistor radio blaring into a metal trashcan – and gyrating spooky riffs crawl out of the lurching bass- and drum-lines with an almost maniacal sense of humor.
But again, these dudes are gonna do what they want, so “T.H.T.F.” starts up with a hard-hitting onbeat that’s simultaneously disorienting and possessing. The guitars slash away at non-harmonic chords, the tension builds and transforms into an assertive, crunchy step, until the song final burns up in its own heat, sending shimmering rails of feedback through your headphones. Maybe this album is incoherent; if it is, it gets its strength (and at the very least, its sense of humor) from being incoherent. Stream this album and Pampers’ older stuff on their bandcamp, and be sure to scope In The Red Records for their releases.