Spawned from the ashes of several great purveyors of underground alternative rock including Bluetip, J Majesty and Garden Variety are Retisonic, who with latest release ‘Robots Fucking’, carry on the great underground American alt-rock tradition of making uncompromising and agitated music. Released on the legendary Ian MacKaye-founded Dischords Records, ‘Robots Fucking’ is the sound of three guys who have played in every dingy, crumbling toilet venue in the U.S but are still intent on creating complex sonic chaos while retaining a distinctly keen ear for a melody or two. A stark and stripped back aural delivery is instantly recognisable to the Washington D.C scene of the late 80’s/90’s, where all three members cut their teeth in various spheres of the scene. Thankfully, the three now middle aged members seem as disgruntled and generally pissed off as they were back in the day as singer Jason Farrell despairs at the state of American culture as well as his own life. Coupled with a general rough-around-the-edges production, this album could be straight out of Washington D.C circa 1992. Singer/guitarist Jason veers his guitar between driving power chords and jangly aspirations while the bass for the most part remains urgently pure punk. ‘Wait…LOOKOUT!’ and ‘Called to Say’ meld the melodic intuitions with fervent musicianship. Hardcore bleeds into ‘Necropolitan’, a song that is as uncompromising in the music as it is in the lyrics as it scathes American culture in much the same way as the original wave of alt-rock bands. Closer ‘Defined’ introduces minimalistic piano in a slow building melodically driven affair that brings the album to a dignified and surprisingly restrained close. ‘Robots Fucking’ is as raw as it is bleak, and despite the odd additional instrument it remains simply three guys thrashing away with undeniable urgency. If you can’t get enough of the noise that erupted out of the D.C scene twenty or so years ago then ‘Robots Fucking’ is your next fix.
4.5 out of 5 high fives!