CD REVIEW BY JOEL INGLIS
I picked up the new Keith Doom and the Wrecking Crew album, Total Expendable, today. I was listening to the record on my way home from work and I thought “Well, damn. This is more polished than I’d expected.” I checked the back of the CD and saw that it was recorded by Harry Doyle and it immediately made sense. Harry’s perfectionist side comes through with any project that he touches. Harry’s talent and experience, paired up with the frenetic mad energy and passion of Keith Doom and the Wrecking Crew, has resulted in a seriously solid album.
The album was one song too long for my relatively short drive home. In part because it inspires a heavy foot on the pedal, and in part because the album is comprised of ten incredibly fast and hard-driving punk songs, so it kind of ends before you have had a chance to digest it.
So I decided to give it a better listen without distractions. I brought it into the house and put it in my laptop. The album started with a discordant warble and off into the start of track one, “Repulsion”. It didn’t sound or feel right, though. So I went downstairs and poured myself a mason jar of whisky ginger and grabbed my over-ear headphones. Then it sounded/felt right.
Once I was really ready for the album, I gave it another listen. The album, overall, is a solid attempt to capture the energy of a live Keith Doom and the Wrecking Crew show.
Nathan Hines (Keith Doom) doesn’t hold back for a second. It’s clear that he put his all into this and the energy levels are there. Tanner Leudy’s guitar capabilities shine through on tracks like “Crosseyed” and “Total Expendable”, while the rest of the album has competent and confident aggressive punk style. Shane Wilkie lays down solid driving bass-lines that elevate songs like “Texas Instruments” and “Frig Off” to a higher class of punk. Adam LeMoine’s simply one of the best punk drummers around, and his work on this album displays that clearly.
“Total Expendable”, the title track, is one of the catchiest damn punk songs that I’ve heard and is worth the price of admission alone. With a solid, weird narrative style, the song tells its tale over a base of driving punk lines and interesting guitar riffs that create an unnerving and beautiful melody. Total Expendable is exactly what you would want from a Keith Doom and the Wrecking Crew album, though it could stand to be about 15 minutes longer. It’s aggressive and driving but tight and polished. Pick it up if you’re into legitimately good punk music or if you want an album that’ll inspire you to get back into the mosh pit again.