Album Review: Pampers – Pampers

There’s a power to the simplicity of punk and garage rock. New York thrash punks Pampers don’t need to be reminded of that fact. The latest band to throw their hat into today’s lunkhead punk ring, Pampers are a band that doesn’t have much use for overdubs, second takes, or studio trickery. But, what they might lack in polish, they more than make up for in raw nerve. The band’s self-titled debut, released through the garage punk tastemakers at In The Red Records, is bad for your ears and rots your brain. It’s also a lot of intoxicating fun. At 12 tracks and just under 28 minutes, the record kicks, screams, and hollers with vicious energy, the faintest hints of pretense scraped clean off of its palette.

Keeping with that brute scuzz spirit, the record feels less like a collection of songs than one big demolition derby. From the opening seconds of “Eruptions” through to the closing track “Purple Brain”, one song crashes head on into the next, propelled by distorted guitars and punishing drums. The lyrics might as well be TBD, but you’re welcome to take a wild guess.

Pampers like to play fast and loose with the rules, but there’s an incorrigible spirit and method to their madness. ” T.H.T.F.” tears at the eardrums with stomping clang-and-bang energy, while “Rat Hole” slows the tempo down some without curbing the aural carnage. Other tracks smear the band’s punk and hardcore influences on its sleeve, namely “Shot”, which sounds like Agent Orange’s “Bloodstains” on steroids.

Ultimately, Pampers is a record that’s chock-full of empty calories: There’s not much to mull over once the noise grinds to a halt. Depth may not be Pampers’ thing, but you’ve got to take the music for what it’s worth. The band flies a defiant middle finger in the face of perfectionists who sweat the minutiae. The Thom Yorkes, Jack Whites, and Kanye Wests of the world might get all the glory, and rightfully so, but records like this debut suggest that today’s gutter punks might be having all of the fun.

Essential tracks: “T.H.T.F.”, “Rat Hole”


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