Bottom of the Curve

54, 40′ or Fight!

I will honestly never cease to be amazed by the releases on the 54, 40′ or Fight! label; it really is the label for consistently strong melodic post-punk these days. Bottom of the Curve, by Houston, combines the mathematical drum/guitar cadence of The Metroschifter, the vocal stylings of Alice in Chains (I’m not kidding) and the chaotic guitar work of Fugazi. Simply put, this is where early-90’s melodic Alt. rock meets early-90’s indie math rock, updated & refurbished for the modern listener.

There are several different styles of rock music channeled here, including guitar driven space rock, in the vein of Hum, straight forward melodic rock, a la Weezer or Queens of the Stone Age, and the occasional piano laden ballad. Houston (pronounced “how-ston”) are at their best when they’re rockin’ out, pouring their syrupy warm voices atop the dingy sounding guitars and overdriven bass.

These guys aren’t reinventing the wheel with Bottom of the Curve, but in the same way that the rubber tire greatly improved on the wagon wheel, Houston does wonders for the melodic power rock of the 1990’s. The album is over an hour long (a rare treat for an independent label release), and I swear that there isn’t a dull moment on the entire disc. Fans of low end driven post punk stuff (e.g. Shiner, Hum, and the like) will eat this up with a knife and fork. This is easily one of the strongest releases of the year.

54, 40′ or Fight!: http://www.fiftyfourfortyorfight.com

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