BY FRED MILLS
Naming your band after a member of Wire and releasing your album on a label named after a song by Wire is either cheeky or risky, or both, but in the final estimation, this Pittsburgh outfit delivers enough of the goods to strong-arm any prospective naysayers up to the front of the classroom and force ‘em to stand with their noses against the chalkboard. The rest of us can resume our lesson in PostPunk 101, courtesy four earnest but innovative young men.
Start to finish, the Gotobeds’ long playing debut (it follows a pair of 45s for the Mind Cure label) makes for a compelling rollercoaster of a sonic ride. Just the opening track alone will take your breath away: “Fast Trash” is a whooping brace of Superchunkian jittery guitars and convulsing percussion so over the top in its ecstatic intent that you have to check your watch when it’s done. Later, as Side One nears its end, you get a reprise of sorts in “Wimpy Garcia,” a confident sonic swagger of clanging guitars conjuring images of CBGB circa ’77. And with album closer “Secs Tape” (say it out loud) the quartet stretches out, Sonic Youth-style, for an extended, effects-strewn psych-skronk blowup guaranteed to send you, the unsuspecting concert patron, tumbling out into the street to greet the early a.m. landscape with ringing ears and moistened eyes.
Crazed but inspired, noisy yet purposeful, the Gotobeds mount and then sustain a level of energy that one rarely encounters these days. Embrace ‘em now, before they flame out. Incidentally, you’d be forgiven if you thought the title of the album was Anarchy In the U.S. as that’s the legend that appears in big bold lettering at the top of the front cover; the “poor people are revolting” text is rendered barely as subscript. Both are apropos, however, and within two distinct (historical, cultural) contexts, linked. The revolution will not be televised—except in Pittsburgh.
DOWNLOAD: “Secs Tape,” “Wimpy Garcia,” “Rollin’ Benny”