Album Review: The Butts
So It Goes
We last heard from local pop-punk transplants the Butts three years ago, with their sublime Nightmare at Area 51 EP. In the intervening time, local punk MVP Will Prewitt has replaced Nathan Holman on guitar. Their musical ambition has also grown. They already shot the melodic pogo rock of more commercial bands with enough boozy irreverence to utterly destroy pop-punk's normally well-manicured facade. And bassist Kevy Bergman's stronger vocal style has always provided perfect harmony and counterpoint to leader Kurt Koegler's rawer approach. Now her innate musicality has burst all over their third album's surface in fine fashion, with her well-placed keyboard overdubs bolstering several of the tracks.
With their huge, raspy Hüsker Dü guitars and intellectual wise-guy humor, the Butts can't help but recall Minneapolis deep-underground smart punks Dillinger Four. How could you hate any band who composes a song that so successfully skewers the aging process as "I'm Getting Old," with a throwaway line as brilliant as "Scully and Mulder didn't understand just what they had"? But the most affecting and ambitious is "The Final Text Exchange," a downbeat piano-driven ballad whose lyrics portray a child and a parent's messaging one another during a school shooting. With samples of Presidents Clinton and Obama reacting to previous events, it's frightening and believable.