Get Hustle Rollin in the Ruins

[Three One G; 2005]

Rating: 2/5

Styles: spazz-punk, dance-punk, sleaze rock
Others: Chinese Stars, Blood Brothers, An Albatross, Racebannon

I've never actually joined a punk rock message board before, but I've eavesdropped on enough of them to know that Get Hustle are one of those bands that folks listen to when they're too mature for Hot Topic but not mature enough to quit getting into arguments with 14 year-olds on the internet about the origins of emo. One of many projects to slither out of Cali sorta-screamo legends Antioch Arrow's grave, Get Hustle make music for hungry scenesters who've traded sadsack song lyric LiveJournal posts for seizure-inducing personal homepages littered with imperatives like "Dance motherfuckers!" Their aesthetic gives a been-there-pierced-that nod to more conventional forms of punk and hardcore without rejecting its mother-genre's art-as-lifestyle ethos — or the solipsism and over-attention to style so common to the punk scene. Rollin in the Ruins might reek of a thousand virginities trampled underfoot, but it's none the wiser for its worldliness.

While all six of the album's tracks rail against form and structure, the manner in which they do so is damningly uniform: junkyard piano and drums putter aimlessly and histrionic vocals claw at the fourth wall, but the band members always lunge towards playing the part of Nero in a burning San Diego. Be it through handclaps or flag-waving yelps, Get Hustle are constantly taking a stab at lending a vibrant rock pulse to their landfill of warbling effects and noises, but it's always a half-ass project, succeeding too much to let the tracks steep in free-form trash rock glory, and failing too miserably to pass any segment of the album off as a song. For instance, as meat-cleavingly fierce as the gut-rock lurches and ear-bleeding acid rock squelches in "W.S.T.P." might be, they amount to little more than truncated transmissions from a space station too far gone into a black hole of astral shit to ever hope to effectively communicate.

The untitled sixth track comes closest to liberating itself from formal constipation, stretching out well over fifteen minutes and letting fly with the brain-nuking treble drones, but it lacks vigor and texture, amounting to little more than a Racebannon-esque prank. And the rest of the record is even more annoying — ballsier and infinitely more freaked than the latest Thrice album, to be sure, but still just as overwrought and, to steal a line from Lee Renaldo, "I'm in a band."

1. Black Stallion Medallion
2. Revolution Van
3. Brothers & Others
4. W.S.T.P.
5. Don Quixote & I
6. [untitled]

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