Mike Watt is a true musical visionary, constantly searching and experimenting with sound and concepts through his decades of playing. Always willing to explore a new idea, his newest one doesn’t seem like it should work. In Jumpstarted Plowhards, Watt would record his bass parts over a click track, then have Todd Congelliere (F.Y.P., Underground Railroad to Candyland) provide vocals and guitar. From there, Congelliere would contact a different drummer for each track. This, of course, seems like a crazy idea.
But it works. Somehow without the players being in the same space, or even having a consistent drummer, the eight songs on the Round One ep gell as a cohesive whole. It probably helps that three of the eight drummers have worked with Watt before, in the missingmen, the secondmen, and fIREHOSE/Minutemen.
The songs show a variety of influences – you can hear touches of SST-era Sonic Youth, surf guitar, Hot Snakes post-punk, all of which combine to sound like a consistent band. The songs are direct, generally clocking in around two minutes, and are sort of the Platonic ideal of post-punk, of taking songs apart to see what works, and discarding the unnecessary. Hopefully Round Two is coming soon.