The Put-Downs

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

The Put-Downs

No Worse Off (Super Secret)

Despite its vibrant musical history, Beaumont ain't exactly known as a punk rock Mecca. With their second full-length, the Put-Downs continue a valiant struggle to put the "Wrong Side of Texas" on the map via Austin's Super Secret label. No Worse Off bolts right into overdrive with "Resolution," an all-meat mohawk motivational driven by drummer Mike Dempsey's unrelenting hardcore snare attack. "DT's" directs the pummeling toward alcohol dependency with all the subtlety of a Joe Pesci beat-down. The trio leans garageward with the anxious crunch of "Too Stuffy in Here" before diving into a swell cover of Scared of Chaka's "Frozen Out." "Outta Town" is all about breaking out of a city that resembles a life sentence rather than a community. You can almost hear the city limits receding in guitarist Paul J.'s voice. "Hard to Get" scores points with its punk grandchild of an Eddie Cochran guitar riff but wins the game with lyrics like, "She thought that she was hot-snot on a silver platter. She was just cold boogers and she had annoying laughter." Faint hints of honky-tonk appear intermittently throughout before erupting in a bottle-draining take on Dwight Yoakam's "This Drinkin'll Kill Me." It's easy to imagine this being the device that wins 'em over on slow weeknights at faraway dives. Their territory may be well-worn, but the Put-Downs' collective spunk and sense of purpose do the Golden Triangle proud.

***

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