1994!'s new LP, FCKYRHED, picks up where the band left off with their previous release, last year's split with California's Spires, incorporating epic math-rock riffs with all the energy and fervor of the entire No Idea Records back catalog thrown into a blender and then dropped off a ten story building. I guess you could call this release a full length, although, at seven songs and eighteen and a half minutes, it doesn't seem like it should be. But, after a listen or two and hearing the group plowing through the valleys and peaks of fluid, hyperactive attack fans have come to expect, and hitting the high point of the album with the excellent sing-a-long "Thanks All you Guys Helpening", (which might be the best thing the band has put to tape since their last such track, "Steep Cliff Mountain Type Jaunt", from their debut LP, 2008's Thank You Arms and Fingers), you'll hardly feel like the album is too short. The band bounces back to burst through the short but hooky "Damn You's" before fading away with the sound of loud snoring after the guitar line fades from "A+ Brain", which leaves you waiting to roller coaster through another seven or eight songs until you dumbly realize the records is over.
In this case, short and sweet is just that. The band's busy touring schedule, and steady output of material since their inception (a two songs demo, followed by a debut LP, then a split 12", and now FCKYRHED) all in a matter, more or less, of two years might have meant that any other band would have burned themselves out on the tour circuit and to their hometown crowd. But by staying increasingly relevant and original in a DIY scene that is diverse and, thanks to the advent of the internet, full of buzz bands, 1994! have found their own niche, hitting stride by maturing without losing the initial energy and apparent desire to beat the shit out of their instruments that made them so captivating the first time I heard the opening lines of "Sexual Alien Vs Sexual Predator" on their '08 Winter Demo.
1994!'s small-scale, two man approach might just be the reason they continue to succeed at what they do. All to often a band will put out a strong, promising demo or LP before finally calling it quits because of losing members or internal dispute. Chris and Mike's obviously close-knit relationship and love for what they do will, hopefully, leave us with a lot more releases like FCKYRHED before they decide to call it quits.
I've also thrown in an upload of the new Boyfriends single, which 1994! has been giving out for free on their tour. Boyfriends is a side project that any fan of the band should enjoy. The song will be released on a split seven inch by Count Your Lucky Stars Records in the coming months. Look out for it!
Order the LP HERE
* * *
Those Dudes Boys (2010)