Texas Platters

Phases and Stages


With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Woozyhelmet merrily traipses along the fine line between abrasive punk rock nihilism and crumpled up mash note sweetness. The Austin trio's latest nine-song disc perfectly encapsulates the venomous nature of unbalanced young love, but instead of getting drunk to forget, these songs hang around at the scene of the crime proffering cyclical analyses only a neurotic could love. "Now We Don't" is a classic tale of a couple that goes from being like "ketchup and tater tots" to "ulcers and Jim Beam" without explaining why. Bassist Brandi DePietro's vocal combines contrived twee ebullience with a gripping undercurrent of coming undone. Guitarist/vocalist Jay Blazek Crossley goes even further on "Pig," a pained account of lying about sex to your buddies that manages to cast the "Pig" as victim. Perhaps "victim" is a malapropos designation for someone who'd say, "And when you get to heaven, tell Jesus I fucked you, so Jesus'll know I tried," but Crossley's pubescent caterwauling brings a twisted sort of infantile humility to the line that evokes kindred sympathy. Woozyhelmet could blast through these sentiments with 1-2-3-4 ferocity, but instead they hang back and let the jagged edges and dangling narratives speak for themselves. That's ultimately what makes this album stand out.


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