Click to hear: “Venado Negro”
Last year, Great Western Plain went into The RattleSnakes’ den on Nevada Avenue and recorded a song released on the B side of a split 7” single with The ’Snakes. It’s easy to think of them as a B-side version of that band. They share a lot of musical DNA — meaty/choppy guitar riffs, ballsy bass lines, that Econoline vibe — but these three Plains dwellers haven’t evolved as much.
The songwriting is simpler — there are far fewer changes and sections. The listener’s like nine minutes into the 12-minute opener, “Thom,” before the groove shifts. But it’s a killer groove. Bassist Mike Powers repeats a Watt-worthy line from start to finish, with drummer Anthony Bitetti egging him on. Twelve minutes and change is a lot to ask for, even if you’re Sonic Youth, and these guys ain’t them, either, but singer and guitarist Tim Berrigan gets a gold star for trying on this track, hacking and stabbing away at the strings for bars and bars between verses sung in slacker style.
The first single, “Wipers,” which clocks in at 7:32, strains patience, but shorter cuts like the T-Rexy “Venado Negro” and the frenetic closer “Moving Parts” do the trick (plus, the bass line from “Thom” makes a slight return). One thing’s clear: these guys aren’t holding anything back. And that’s as punk as it gets.
— Chris Busby