So, it's 2013 and, as usual, the world is fucked with no relief in sight. Countries are getting bombed, corporations still run the States, and there's a whole stretch of cities called the “Rust Belt” disintegrating into a pile of coppery, lung-filling cancer dust. Sometimes, ya just don't know whether to laugh or scream. Fortunately for Lamb's Legs, they've perfected the art of doing both at once.
On the band's new Summer of Lamb's Legs EP, vocalist Bjorn Severtson deadpans his vocals like a Mark E Smith with better teeth (as he points out in “Gamey-Meagre,” his band is “much more fuckin' handsome” than The Fall, clearly), cracking wise and spitting out slyly nonsensical bon motts about Bob Dylan's penis until the paranoid wailing sets in, punctuated by crescendoes in the damaged postpunk vamps of guitarist Jeb Ebben, bassist Dan Agacki, and drummer Kevin DeMars. It's when Severtson throws himself into his best Dave Thomas yelps that the band fully evokes the more bombed-out, cratered portions of their blighted hometown Milwaukee, a former manufacturing giant not quite as scorched as Cleveland, but enough to make the Pere Ubu comparisons plenty apt.
Summer of Lamb's Legs is a concise, sixteen-minute blast of freeform poetry slammed on top of scraping slabs of scratchy guitar, anchored by a lockstep rhythm section that gives Ebben and Severtson a frame for their ink and canvas to spill through, laughing into the negative space while punching themselves in the mouth before life can do it to them harder. It's all very dire and hilarious at once, befitting of a band with song titles like “Squeaky Fromage.” While the band may seem more homicidal than cheesy, tongues are firmly planted in cheek while the rhythms spiral into faux-despair.
Rumor has it these guys are diversifying their fuck-shit-up portfolio and slowing things down a tad as Ebben heads back to school and the other guys doubtlessly kickstart other ways to worm their way into society's underbelly. So be sure to take whatever opportunity you have to pay $5 at the door of your favorite local crawlspace and watch DeMars and Agacki hold down the fort as Ebben snaps his guitar strings and Severtson shreds his vocal chords. Laugh and yelp along, but whatever you do, don't turn away, because you just might miss quite the grisly car crash. And much like living in a decaying city that's crumbling from under your feet, you may as well say “fuck it,” have a drink, and enjoy the sights before it all goes to shit. Pass the ass-pocket of turpentine, won't you? – DJ Hostettler
released 20 September 2013
Recorded April 20, 2013. Engineered by Martin Defatte at Guerrilla Digital Studios, Milwaukee, WI. Mixed by Martin Defatte and Lamb's Legs. Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering. Written and performed by Lamb's Legs.