World's Fastest Car was doomed from the beginning. The band was founded by Quicksand frontman Walter Schreifels and singer-guitarist Arty Shepherd after Schreifels' former outfit dissolved on an ill-fated 1995 tour. And just like any relationship formed on the rebound, it was never meant to last. After two years and one album, World's Fastest Car pulled in for a permanent pit stop, and Schreifels eventually found his way back to Quicksand late last year. But the relationship between Schreifels and Shepherd continues: Schreifels released the debut by Shepherd's current group, errortype:11, on his own Some Records, and he'll do the same for the band's follow-up, Amplified to Rock, due in October.
Shepherd is likely just as content with the present arrangement as he would be if World's Fastest Car were still around: Being associated with Schreifels means instant credibility for Shepherd and errortype:11. Before his stint in Quicksand, Schreifels played bass for celebrated New York straight-edge group Youth of Today, and Some is the home to hardcore heroes such as Hot Water Music. Schreifels' blessing means that some people will pick up errortype:11's albums regardless of what they sound like. However, it's more than unfair to the group to judge it solely by the man who puts out its records. After all, Schreifels' only presence on any of errortype:11's recordings is a name in the thank-you list.
Besides, the connection between Schreifels and Shepherd is forgotten as soon as the band -- which also features guitarist Phil Harnatty, bassist Adam Marino, and drummer Erik Matheu -- starts playing. That's especially true on errortype:11's latest disc, The Crank EP, not so cleverly titled after the label that released it, Los Angeles-based indie Crank! Records. Well, the five-song teaser for Amplified to Rock isn't that far removed from Quicksand's manic compression, at least on "Right Again," two minutes' worth of one jackhammer riff tearing through Shepherd's tuneful shouting, eight hands throttling the neck of a pop song.
But after "Right Again" screeches to a halt, Shepherd and the band slip into "There Goes Another One," a delicate acoustic ballad that is as comfortable as its predecessor is jarring. It's the kind of juxtaposition few bands can pull off, but errortype:11 handles it with ease, turning on a dime and coming back with a nickel and five pennies. The remainder of the EP lands somewhere between those two opposites, gentle jolts of melodic guitar rock that sound like nothing and everything else, familiar but not formulaic. And neither Walter Schreifels nor Quicksand has anything to do with that.