Park Attack Half Past Human

[Ba Da Bing; 2006]

Styles: I survived no-wave and all I got was this lousy band
Others: Sonic Youth, The Mae Shi, Rapider Than Horsepower, Random Victim

Well I'll be bottled 'n' bartered; peeled and pickled; shucked and sliced. You see, after Carey Mercer, Jaime Stewart, and Tora! Tora! Torrance!'s Nick Koenigs gave me the ol' googly-eyes ear-fuck, I thought it impossible to catch me off-guard; I thought that I could no longer be shocked — nay, dismayed — by the chicken-coop coo of crazy, cluck-happy vocalists. All that changed when Park Attack's Half Past Human uncerimoniously oozed from my speakers like so much discharge, forcing me to realize that it's never too late for a terrible singer to irk the living shit-smack out of you.

While the woozy warbling of drummer Lorna Gilfedder, synthesist Tom Straughan, and aforementioned crooner/guitarist Rob Churm isn't so bad where instrumentals are concerned, their flexi-bend arrangements do nothing to quell the state of anguish the listener is sure to be in once Churm launches into his flailing brand of vocals-as-antics. Worst of all, surely a critic somewhere — like that friend who tells you the fins and spoiler on your 1982 Chevy Citation look "rippin' " — is getting Park Attack's hopes up by hailing Half Past Human as innovative and captivating. This surmisal is only half correct. And, as any jaded, armadillo-thick-skinned reviewer knows, innovation can only take you so far. At some point, you're gonna need to provide a semblance of substance.

Park Attack don't, and as a result their sophomore album is fucking clownshoes. It takes a pretty tonedeaf band to grate on someone with a well-worn copy of NYC Ghosts and Flowers in his or her collection (as opposed to the vanity/completist copy still in the shrinkwrap), and with a sloppy, shabbily crafted full-length recording, PA have done just that. Frankly, this trio would do well to change its band name to Panic Attack, as their grueling din of Dumpster drums, slimy synths, and pitch-bereft guitar is about as pleasant an experience as a psychotic girlfriend episode during which several disturbing happenings involving her perverted uncle are unearthed. Ewwwwwwwww... rename this album: How about Half Past Houndsex, or Half Mast Houndcock, or Half-Assed Houndbock, for the baseball fans?

1. They, "Which Is Worst?
2. The Slow Clap
3. The Racket
4. Toes
5. Blood at Both Ends
6. Hot Dog
7. Beak as Tool
8. Wolf (Poof!)
9. The Gilder
10. The Forgetter
11. Boohoo!

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