Dekalb, Illinois is a college town ringed by cornfields. It’s located just far enough from the orbit of Chicago to ensure a measure of insularity (read: CABIN FUCKIN’ FEVER). The same houses host the same beer swilling parties night after night after night. Winter seems to last two months longer than it should. All the single girls in town used to date one of your friends. Manure wafts in on the breeze, Asian beetles descend like a Biblical plague, and carloads of frat boys scream “faggot” at you as they drive past, because, hey, that’s funny, right? Oh, and if you don’t own a car, you’re pretty much stuck in Fucktown, because the closest commuter train line is over fifteen miles away.
But good times do exist beneath the fray, and Dekalb’s “Richardson” Richardson exemplify what happens when small town malaise and hard drinking collide with bass guitars, a drum machine, and a sense of humor.
Usually I don’t care much for bands that do the whole “hey, we‘re funny dudes” thing. For whatever reason, I instead fall in love with soul crushing songs about heartbreak or pissed off songs about how screwed up the world is.
But with The Brown EP, “Richardson” Richardson kick out some catchy, bass driven, let’s-do-this-shit-in-under-thirty-seconds jams. Highlights include “There Will Be Bronson” and “Mad Money.”
Their style is difficult to pin down. Sure, I’ve been using the umbrella term “punk,” but let’s step away from that label for a moment, shall we? Allow band member Tony to paint a picture for your ears (wait, what?):
“Have you ever been at a party where all the girls were unattractive and all the guys wanted to do was play beer pong in some nasty basement and listen to the Smiths? The Brown EP is the answer to all your problems.”
I have indeed been to the Basement of Despair he speaks of (haven’t we all?), and yes, “Richardson” Richardson is the sonic antithesis of that bore-filled party of barfy boringness.
As for their lyrics, here‘s a random sampling: “Bitch sunglasses / Can’t even see your face.”
Wait, did I say random sampling? Those are the lyrics of “Bitch Sunglasses” in their entirety. That’s the whole song. All of it.
And hey, I know I already mentioned it, but I wanted to bring it up again: These guys use a drum machine. How awesome is that? I mean, I know it’s just a little control panel and shit, but whenever I think of “drum machine” I automatically think of “Johnny 5,” because I’m “dimwitted” and the thought of a drumming robot makes me “smile.”
Final verdict: This EP is pretty good. Not mind blowing. But it does manage to break free from punk rock redundancy and sound unique. That alone is a feat. Plus, these guys put on a fun show. Their between song banter will probably hit you in the chuckle box. So get on it.
I give it 2.5 warm cans of Old Milwaukee out of 4.