The Austin Chronicle

Phases and Stages

SXSW records

Reviewed by Greg Beets, March 7, 2003, Music

The Agenda!

Start the Panic (Kindercore) Though Kindercore made its name on twee-pop and thrift-store techno, the Agenda! proves the Athens, Ga.-based label has a nose for garage punk, too. An exclamation point follows the moniker for good reason, but full-throttle frenzy is the hallmark of all competent garage noise. What delineates this quintet is their ability to home that energy in on the pelvis, compelling vibration, warmth, and a soulful longing to transcend the daily rut for a couple of minutes. Start the Panic doesn't reach for that right away; the lead cut, "Crash! Crash!" is an esoteric, Sonics-style attempt at breaking rock down to its screaming, grunting essence. The Agenda! begins its gradual veer toward distinction on "Out With the Old! In With the New!," which intertwines Ryan Riot's guitar with Digital Dan's organ to build a whompus of shackle-breaking grace that fortifies J.R. Suicide's formidable growl. "Last Chance for Action!" introduces an Exile on Main Street-style guitar sound into the mix as Suicide screams, "I just wanna rock & roll!" like a lady on the ledge. Taken together with quasi-agitprop slogans like "It is style not substance you crave!," the Agenda! could be construed as a modern-day MC5 that traded in the revolution for a double shot of lust in the form of libidinous salvos like "Hot Pants!" and "Shake! Shake! Scream!" If boredom is the real enemy, this is one hell of an addition to the arsenal. (Emo's Jr., Wednesday, 10:15pm)

*** .5

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