Released: June 2018
Reviewed by: Benedict Roff-Marsh
Now before you fucking mash that fucking Play fucker (otherwise known as a button) please be fucking aware that there is a fucking shit-ton of fuckity, fuck, swear-fuckery in here. If that offends the fuck outa ya then go back to Excel. This is Rock & Roll. Sorry, fucking Rock & fucking Roll fuckers!
(I do hope the editor doesn’t read that or I’m totally fucked)
By now you have probably worked out what I mean 😉 This is Punk. And Punk has always been about saying, no please, I will do it my own way. Only not always in such a genteel manner. Being Aspie, that attitude fitted for me as I can’t help but be that way.
DIY is exactly what Adam (guitar/vocals & band leader) has done. He wanted to step out and recreate that sense of scene that music used to have when kids got together and did wild things that coalesced into expression and ultimately records of that. Adam has found that he really had to start again outside of all the current restraints of sub-genre and simply making a more brutal meme than the last band.
(I know this because Adam and I had a great chat that helped me put his art in even better perspective as well as know him better. I have already recommended him to another muso searching for their scene. Take the hint other musicians – this shit works – but only if you stop wanking and fucking DO IT)
It shows. “Generation Vex” is raw. Really raw. But it has that viscerally charged sense that is missing from all those perfectly safe Metal-core/Ed Sheeran memes pretending to be emotive records that I need to turn off halfway through the first track.
It did take me a track or so to start to adjust my ears to what I was hearing. So please take a moment if you aren’t already versed in real Punk, and music as it falls out on the venue floor. Track #1 is a joke track and I wonder it is best placed. Track #2 “So Hard” is really rather good and up there with the best in this space.
If you aren’t versed in Punk then let me draw you a pic.
Ok, maybe more of a verbal one then. Punk means dead wood. It then came to mean a no-good, worthless person. A dropkick. In America, some young punks started to use the term as identification in a proud way. That aligned well with music coming from like-minded bands like MC5, Iggy & The Stooges, New York Dolls etc. Then came The Ramones, Dead Kennedys etc who took the actual tag. That was American Punk.
Over in Britain, Malcolm McLaren picked that up and led groups like the Sex Pistols & The Clash to play their version of that look & sound. In the eternal struggle to keep up (in a pre-internet lagged world where it took time for the sounds to make it over the pond), the English got it wrong and made a wonderful new take on Punk that really rocketed into the mainstream in ways the American acts just couldn’t.
The Americans reacted with anger and then found their feet with Glam Metal as bands like Twisted Sister put it back together. Out of the underground American sound grew a new breed of Hard-Core driven bands who became Grunge (and ultimately merged with Rap and sold us all out horribly).
This all informs Doors & Fours, whether they know it or not. I like the British Punk best but American Punk (while a bit raucous, unrefined & screamo for me) has its place and importance.
The album is almost in two halves with the first part being straight-out Classic Hard-Core Punk boom, splat, tom roll with that barky vocal. There is plenty to keep you amused. A few songs lean into Pop which I like best. Then the record takes a bit of a turn into Grunge territory. As I said in my Fuzz Forward “Out Of Nowhere” review, I don’t love Grunge but these tracks travel along well and could have been the sort of thing around in the early Nirvana days.
I like that the recording is only a few steps off dire. I don’t know if this was a conscious decision (or the result of one). Too many Indi acts try to have perfect recordings that absolutely don’t carry the vibe of the band. The band, studio, and staff used don’t have the facilities or depth of ability to deliver Radio-ready tracks so they fall flat and the record fails when they would have been winning if they kept to the important stuff. “Generation Vex” is the sort of disc you pick up at the show for a few $$ and hope it helps recreate the event. It does that job really well (and worked on me over the internet) which helps the band move to the next stage.
From chatting to Adam it seems that Doors & Fours have reached that point when they have to start to transition to the next level of stages. That is exciting. That brings me to…
What I can compare this record to? Ok, so I don’t have much of that sound. But I’ll start you out easy with The Offspring “Smash” because it has the song “Come Out & Play” which is a good match for the direction songs like “So Hard” could go. The Ramones because they did it best and if you don’t own at least a best of then you aren’t R&R at all. The Sex Pistols “Flogging A Dead Horse” because it is rougher than “Bollocks” and so a bit better suited to the sound here.
If you like your music raw, and on its way up, then please have a listen and back Doors & Fours by doing more than taking their free download. Let them know they made your day better. A coffee costs $5 but only makes you feel good for an hour or so.
The other thing that I really like that Adam has done was to make a doco about the band through a tour. This is great. It is interesting to watch and learn more about this thing, the band itself and to get excited about seeing a scene grow. (remember it is all R&R here kids)
Also, you are missing out if you don’t go to their Facebook page, scroll up and watch the video loop they have up there. The drummer Paige is so beautiful. You don’t look like that if you aren’t being the music. I hear she was trained by Jack Peddler (drummer for legendary Canadian punk band Teenage Head). Also, you just gotta love that belly-out Thunderbird bassist. The video is Here if they moved it but best up top in the ‘window’ with no sound.
Adam has been in bands that shared stages with James from Lycanthro (yes more Canadians) in the past.