The front cover of this new EP from Virginia’s Neanderverbs has a hot rodding caveman on it. Without even listening to it, you might already have some assumptions as to what it sounds like. Anytime an angry cartoon is driving a vehicle on an album cover, it’s going to sound a little bit like Electric Frankenstein. Although that does reflect the general tone of this record, there are also several other components about this band that make them unique and worth your time.
First of all, there’s a cover of an L7 song from their 1997 album The Beauty Process. I wouldn’t have necessarily drawn the comparison had they not covered this song, but Neanderverbs definitely have an L7 attitude and style to them. Which is to say, they play angry rock and roll and have very sick riffs. The kind of riffs that get stuck in your head all by themselves. I’ve found myself humming a couple of them around the house today.
Musically overall they remind me of the surprisingly excellent Sonics reunion album that came out several years ago, along with some Deadbolt thrown in there too. Reverb-y huge riffs all day here. Actually, just for 16 and a half minutes. There are only six songs, including the L7 cover, and an instrumental song that has more than enough to it to hold your attention.
The vocal delivery and style are what I think make Neanderverbs a bit of a unique mutant. The singer sounds straight out of early 80s SoCal hardcore, which isn’t typical for the genre. He’s probably most similar to Henry Rollins, but I also hear some early Milo in there, or maybe the dude from Reagan Youth. Lyrical content reflects this as well. Here’s an example from the opening track:
“marketers are a bunch of liars
while the suckers are all us buyers
we’re the victims of subterfuge
in the end you know we’re gonna lose”.
Also, from the song “T. Wrecks”:
“I’m user friendly and vain
a slave to the mundane
feel like I’m living my life on a leash
there’s no way to appease”.
If you consider how effectively Neanderverbs transcend geography and time to bring together these disparate genres of punk, while distilling them down into 16.5 minutes for your listening pleasure, you’re actually saving time by checking them out. Recommended.