Those distorted drums that open up "Soup," and the bass that follows...it sounds like there's some unearthed JOY DIVISION session in front of me and I am at attention.
But that only lasts 19 seconds, then they add a guitar, and another guitar...and another guitar, and vocals, and then I realize that I'm listening to a breathy rediscovery of MERCURY REV and/or PAVEMENT-esque '90s indie. And I still like it. From the lazy adolescent "Soup" to the blown out (lack of) production and casual chaos of "1998" these kids capture a time and a vibe brilliantly. There are a few harsher moments ("Cadillac" and the chorus in "California," for example) though for once I think that staying cool and mellow works in their favor. A note that this tape was duplicated WAY up in the red, so everything is blown out and most, if not all, subtleties are buried in distortion...and you see, these are the qualities that make our kind of punk so unique and, ultimately, interesting. No?