Artist: LASERS and FAST and SHIT
Album: Third: Munch
Release: April 21, 2015 (Forge Again Records)
Our Take: “Buy It”
LASERS and FAST and SHIT’s debut full-length Third: Munch is as audibly abrasive as its title sets it up to be. The album’s quick tempo remains consistent throughout and provides a heart-pounding landscape for the band to experiment over by borrowing from other genres. Third: Munch is punk at heart, but remains captivating by stepping outside the punk boundary that so many bands are afraid to cross over.
At moments, the record hangs too long in a head-on punk sound, but then jumps back into the experimental unknown like a swimmer diving back into the water after coming up for a gasp of air.
Make no mistake, this record is fast and remains so. If you’re looking for something cathartic, this will do the trick, because most importantly, the record is hectic. You’re immediately left thinking, “I need to see this band live,” because while the band keeps the blood level boiling on its recordings, the only way to interpret these tracks at their full potential is in a live setting.
Briefly the record takes a rest, but only to slowly build into a swelling climax on “Hot Miracle.” The gradual rise in the fifth track is one of the few moments on the album where frontman Joe Carsello’s lyrics are stripped and bare for the listener to clearly decipher, and this may be a strength considering the lackluster line, “run to the mountain, run to the river” on repeat until the dynamic shifts back to full speed. There’s a stark contrast here from the rest of the album, where Carsello’s vocals are masked beneath the guitar tracks or rapidly jumping back-and-forth between ears and through effects, like on the next track “Pittsburgh,” where the band takes on a modernized punk sound.
It wouldn’t be a surprise for LASERS and FAST and SHIT to have a hell of a year following this release, especially with how easily these songs could grab an audience’s attention. Tracks like “Valpo” and “Move It” just scream to be played in a dusty, packed basement. That’s also what makes this record so appealing. Often, punk can trap its listener into a forced expectation. “This is what it is, and this is what you’ll get.” But Third: Munch is what it is, but not what you’d entirely expect. And that’s what makes the difference between a band keeping up and one that’s setting the pace.