Here Holy Spain

Manic (Idol)

The properly named debut release from this local punk trio opens on a promising kick: There's no musical lead-in, no build-up, just an immediate and crushing launch into the opening track "Trouble Is," as the vocals, bass, guitar and drums all start simultaneously and hit the listener like a sharp cross to the side of the face. Instantly, the line is drawn in the sand and it becomes clear what frontman/guitarist Wes Todd, bassist Eric Gugliardi and drummer Patrick Ethan have in store for the next 26 minutes of their 10-track effort: no-frills, punk-influenced grunge rock that sprouts from somewhere between The Offspring and The Toadies.

And perhaps because there's no time for breathing room on the disc, the band rarely shows any speed but full-blast. The closest it comes to doing so? "Chasing the Chaser" and album closer "Cut Your Teeth," which also serve as the disc's most melodic affairs. "Chasing the Chaser" in particular stands out, though, the lone track on the disc that relies on a toe-tapping guitar riff and bouncy bass line to carry its weight, rather than speedy, fuzzed-out guitar rips that clutter the rest of the disc. The track also shows that there's a little post-punk to be found in this band's fun, if not exactly broad, first offering.

 
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