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High Tension Wires | Midnight Cashier | review | punk | Lollipop

High Tension Wires

Midnight Cashier (Dirtnap)
by Hansel Merchor

Garage punk usually boldly grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go. So when one unsuspected garage punk release breaks in your stereo and slowly warms you up like a spirited Japanese masseuse, you know you're in for a salacious treat. Vocalized by Mike Wiebe from Riverboat Gamblers fame and rounded out by one The Reds (bassist Chris Pulliam) and two The Marked Men (Mark Ryan and Mike Throneberry guitar and drums respectively), High Tension Wires specializes in direct melodic punk rock. Usually one simple riff is repeated 'til exhaustion while the mildly corrosive voice of Wiebe delivers an engaging yet deadpan performance; spewing lines about feeling like you don't belong ("Outsider"), short eye-sight ("Can't Focus"), being really hungry and having a big-ass belly ("Not Enough For Me"), cold places ("Hibernate"), odd-looking people ("The Strange One"), etc. Midnight Cashier is a good yet somewhat fleeting record. It simply doesn't translate as a huge effort. The melodies are somewhat downplayed, as is all the musicality. Its pop elements are clearly there, but aren't exploited for full impact. And sometimes that's just fine.


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