Richmond’s completely ungoogleable surf-garage quartet, Sports Bar, have returned with a brand new four-song EP called I Want To Waste Away With You, which has just been released as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp.
Richmond’s completely ungoogleable surf-garage quartet, Sports Bar, have returned with a brand new four-song EP called I Want To Waste Away With You, which has just been released as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp. Led by singer/bassist Kemper Blair and drummer Stuart Holt, Sports Bar kicked off a new incarnation last year with the addition of guitarists Brent Delventhal (Warren Hixson) and Mark Miller (Strike Anywhere). They proceeded to earn widespread local acclaim with their Tyler Perry’s Sports Bar EP, also released as a name-your-price Bandcamp download. On that EP, they established their aesthetic, crafting simple, catchy songs with the simple three-chord structure of classic punk, then adding sugary-sweet pop choruses on top. Lyrics demonstrated a profound sensitivity (“Movie Screams”) leavened with silliness (“Biscuits Too”) and a slacker attitude (“I Was Going To Shave My Beard But I Took A Nap Instead”).
With their new EP, Sports Bar are in some ways picking up where they left off on Tyler Perry’s Sports Bar. However, with I Want To Waste Away With You spending slightly less than half the time delivering its four songs as the previous EP spent on half a dozen, there’s some obvious streamlining taking place. The balladry of the previous EP’s “Movie Screams” and “Oh No!” is missing here–these four songs have a more unified sound, and anyone who wished the previous EP had stuck to garage-punk rockin’ will be happy with the change. The title track leads things off with a lovelorn sentiment that’s counterbalanced by complaints about work and not wanting to have to grow up. The lyrics read like something the Descendents would write, while the music adds a Beach Boys-ish sunny pop element.
This is basically how things go throughout this brief EP. The middle two songs, “Daniel Song” and “No Insight,” have a combined length of just over two minutes. “Daniel Song” rocks an upbeat punk riff and regales us lyrically with joking frustrations directed towards friends who are called out by name, while “No Insight” is both musically prettier and lyrically more vacant. Final track “Big Mac Yeah” has a completely different type of Descendents lyrical influence, regaling us with the virtues of food from McDonalds and Taco Bell as it rails against society’s encouragement of eating right and exercising. That’s sticking it to the man! “Big Mac Yeah” ends with a repeated “whoa oh oh oh” coda that I swear is lifted directly from some early punk song (maybe by the Ramones?), but I just can’t quite place it. Anyone who knows what it’s from should definitely let me know in the comments. [NOTE: Trillions manager Brandon Crowe solved this conundrum–it’s “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol! Thanks Brandon!] In the meantime, stream I Want To Waste Away With You below, or download your own mp3 copy from Sports Bar’s Bandcamp page.
You can catch Sports Bar live this Friday night at En Su Boca; they’ll be opening for two Brooklyn acts on tour: retro power-popper Fletcher C. Johnson and harmonizing garage-rockers Hector’s Pets. Music starts promptly at 11 PM, and bring donations for the touring bands! For more info, click here.