Paradisio - MODFAG (Little T & A Records)
If you’re a fan of the hard stuff, heated up to an inch of its life and played fast, the guess is you’ll take to Modfag like a vulture to fresh roadkill. These Texan punks recall any number of Eurotrash bands from the ‘90s, with a dash of glam and a goodly dose of US ‘60s punk applied.
It’s no mistake that they tackle Roky’s “I’ve Got Levitation” on this, their debut album. MODFAG hails from Houston which was where the Elevators played a goodly proportion of their non-Austin shows.
If the band name is designed to turn heads and piss people off, so is the music. As well as the aforementioned influences, it recalls the trebly end of Jeff Dahl’s output, which can be no bad thing.
MODFAG features members of Born Liars, The Freakouts, The Wrong Ones and Gun Crazy, which reads like a roll call of every scuzzy punk band their home town’s offered up in the past decade. Jimmy Sanchez’s vocal sits comfortably between a sneer and a whine while the dual guitars that he and Steve Jones (no, not THAT one) utilise reverb, distortion and twang in equal portions. The engine room rumbles along capably but sits low in the mix. Modfag’s sound is very much in your face.
Opener “Comin’ From Above” wraps it all up in one neat ball - it’s dirtier than a flu-ridden homeless man’s handkerchief with an abrasive edge that’s both appealing and repellent. Music that must be noticed.
The storming cover of “Hey Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut” bristles harder than the Pretty Things’ version, while the nagging dual-tracked vocal of “Diary of Love” and ‘60s punk bounce of “Cuzzin of Mine” are equally worthy. “I Live In A Cave” mixes a choppy surf guitar line with a counterpoint of crazed six-string buzz and an unhinged vocal.
If you think this sounds like a blast you’re right and no doubt it works even better live, with a cold ale in hand and sticky carpet underneath. Available on LP on Little T & A Records.