Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Read's gritty dance-rock is quite enjoyable

February 20, 2010

TheReadThe final day of our three-day Phratry Record Vinyl Extravaganza isn’t a split 7″, but a two-song release from The Read (past tense, not present tense). Of the three releases, this is the most unique, as The Read is an unusual sort of dance-punk band.

The dance comes before the punk part in the Read’s mind, as every second of this release has a groove that causes me to head-bob and (under louder circumstances) to dance. The bass and drum grooves are heavy, and the guitar contributes jarring, jagged melodies and chords to propel the songs. The band is extremely tight, which is how they’re able to make solid dance-rock without any mention of synthesizer. Both “Party Lines” and “Yr Garbage” deliver a significant danceable edge without compromising any of the DIY grittiness that Phratry Records espouses.

A big element of that DIY grit is The Read’s lyrics, which are socially (“Yr Garbage,” which is literally about reusing garbage) and politically (“Party Lines”) motivated. Another element is the vocals, which are not standard. They’re low, gruff, and occasionally amelodic, but not in a spoken way. It’s something you have to hear. It sounds great in the context of the Read’s music.

This is a really tight, enjoyable release. I’d love to see the Read live, as I’m sure that show would be a heck of a lot of fun. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard dance-rock on vinyl, but there’s a first time for everything, right?

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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