Washing Machines // Quick Fix EP
Summer Bummer Records
Recommended Track: Sonic Fuck
Out now on Summer Bummer Records, Washing Machines second EP, Quick Fix, serves us three seriously brash tracks while trying desperately to summon the grunge-y ghosts of the millennial imagination. In ten minutes and eight seconds, the Los Angeles four piece runs through their highest highs and lowest lows, trapping us in their audacious sonic angst.
The fucking and sucking and screaming in these songs, though backed up with heavily researched mid-nineties musicianship, doesn’t ring true. First track, “Big Cyst”, though a fun listen and thoughtful throwback, comes off as an ill-played attention grab by the vocalist. The band so obviously wants to rip out our hearts and cover them with lipstick and stab them with mirror shards, but their lyrics and delivery reek of insecurity. It’s hard to imagine anything behind this music but a wide-eyed and opened-hearted teen boy, looking at us for approval as he holds up his now ‘vintage’ Hole and Blood Brothers records.
All in all, last track “Sonic Fuck” stands out because it’s a crashing wave of a song, more concerned with feeding its own abrasively energetic noise than convincing its listeners of unnecessary sexual prowess or alternative cache. It’s refreshing to see a band just going for it, gluing themselves to the legacy of Nirvana via strong bass lines and neurotic guitar licks. There’s actually nothing I’d rather do right now than see them live, pulling no punches and knocking these tracks out in front of a bunch of sweaty kids. But frankly, that’s just because the over amplification, broken strings, and weird beer/vomit smell of the show would give their EP a sense of real torment, a touch of messed up reality.
Washing Machines have a definite sound here and they’re working with serious momentum, but they’ve lost the spirit of the grunge they love. There is too much good music on this EP to discount it, but it’s hard not to think about how much better it would be if there were a few more broken hearts or wasted nights or soul sucking jobs or fucked up parental relationships thrown into the mix.