Sunday, March 23, 2014

SPOKENEST - ""Destroy, Gone, Listen, Lose" - Tape - 2013

    I live in the same state as SPOKENEST, but I couldn't feel further away from them. When I was out of the country and told people that I lived in California, many people wanted to talk to me about Los Angeles...about Hollywood Boulevard and the sunny, warm beaches. I can't tell you a thing about them. I can talk to you about Mission-style burritos or the redwood forests or foggy towns by the ocean, but once we get south of Santa Cruz, I'm clueless and lost. Increasingly, more of my friends in the Bay Area have positive things to say about Southern California and I believe them, but my experiences there have led me into strip malls, endless traffic (I once watched the entirety of Top Gun in LA traffic), bands with homophobic lyrics,racist drug dealers, playing shows to almost no one in record stores, losing myself on pills in Mexico and watching people do heroin in a shitty Hollywood apartment. I want to go to Tom Of Finland's house, see the Tarpits, play a show in that boxing ring and see the other things that make Southern California so great.
   I don't think Southern California is bad though. Connecticut and Omaha are bad. Southern California is not. SPOKENEST comes from the Los Angeles area and will prove to you that there's good things happening there. They put out a great self-released 12" last year and followed it up with this tape from this past December. The band is a two-piece with a man and woman splitting the duties of vocals, guitar and drums. They recall the essence of scrappy DIY punk, like THE BANANAS (but waayy less drunk), post-punk and whatever style of punk one would call STREET EATERS, but SPOKENEST doesn't fully subscribe to any of those sub-genres....which is one of my favorite styles of punk. Enjoy their four song tape and go order one for yourself because you can't actually get a screen-printed cover and the physical lyric sheet in a download, fool.

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