Impediments – The Impediments

January 01, 1970

(Happy Parts)


Four teenagers, crazed by guitars and hormones, slashing out
two-chord, one-take bashers at Greg Ashley’s Oakland Creamery, full of spit and
sweat and balls-out, foul-mouthed aggression… By now, you’re either suppressing
a yawn or on your way to the MySpace. There’s nothing specially new here,
nothing not already attempted by the Dolls/Stooges/MC5 axis of good times, nothing
not raked over in a million ways by garage dwellers of every decade. And yet,
the Impediments – Nick Allen, Ray Seraphin, Mike Liebman and Rene Macleay — do
what they so with particular intensity and heat … not to mention obscenity. (Yes,
they are shouting “Don’t you vomit on
my cock” in the chorus to “Vom,” what are you going to do about it? ) 


From the Billy Preston banging pianos and handclaps that
pace “LeeAnn” (a lust anthem to Ms. Rimes) to the Who-slinging power chords of
“Vagina Envy,” the album delivers on pretty much every cut. “2012” is even
better than the Box Elders’ end-of-the-Mayan-world song, somehow making a party
anthem out of the phrase “I! I! I! want to die.” If you like “What I Like About
You”-ish shouters where everyone in the band yells “hey” together (and you do, don’t you?), “Down” is a
particularly vigorous example, something to get the fist pumping early.  


Caution: if you start your evening with an album like this,
you’re likely to end it puking in a dirty stall somewhere before it’s over,
possibly naked, certainly on your own. It’s a drunken riot going on, not a
hook-up soundtrack, and in fact there’s not much romance here. The one
sensitive, lyrics-driven song (“You Want a Square”) is about the kind of guy
girls leave rockers for, the dependable sort who likes Hall & Oates and has
a garden gnome in his yard. Maybe girls do want a square to pay the bills and
get the oil changed, but for Saturday night, I’ll take the Impediments any time.


: “Down”, “2012”, “You Want a Square” JENNIFER KELLY


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