- In the Red
On Triple Beams
(In the Red)
Over the years, I've been told I should listen to Tyvek,* but I've never been good at doing what I'm told—not when it comes to music, at any rate—so I'm not sure how On Triple Beams compares to previous albums as I've only heard a few isolated songs (and I recall that they were faster and harder, so it's possible they've slowed down the pace, but I couldn't say for sure). Though I like what I've heard, I've never been inspired to dig deeper, but I took to their third album from the first track, "Scaling," which sets the template for the noise to come.
And the Detroit quartet dishes up the noise, even if it doesn't slot neatly into categories like hardcore, garage rock, and the like. Their sonic attack is more post-punk than punk, but I suspect they're driven more by internal logic than the desire to emulate specific bands or genres (for what it's worth, the press notes describe them as "scuzz rock"—it's been decades since I've heard that one!).
* By Tim Cook, among others, and his advice is usually worth taking.
And that's probably true of a lot of groups, at least on the surface, but subconsciously, many seem to have certain artists in their sights—artists they enjoy, admire, and strive to equal. There's nothing wrong with that, but if the influence is too obvious, the second-generation act pales in comparison. At least until they find their own voice, which doesn't seem to be an issue for Tyvek.
Though I'm sure they've absorbed their share of rock records, especially the more unhinged stuff from the 1960s and '70s, the drumming has an improv feel that sets them apart from the rest of the In the Red pack. "Efficiency" even features a Mark E. Smith-like chant plus skronking sax, reminding me of Sydney's unjustly neglected Laughing Clowns, though Kevin Boyer sounds nothing like front man Ed Kuepper, who provided guitar for the Saints and later launched a solo career.
I bet they're great live, too. "Wayne County Roads" stomps so hard, I can imagine audience members shouting along even if they've never set foot in Michigan. And "Say Yeah" drives along a similar track, i.e. "Don't say no, just say yeah, yeah, yeah!" The other songs aren't as catchy—I doubt "catchy" is a motivating force—but the sentiment sums up my thoughts about On Triple Beams.