Remember when a lot of English and American punk rock kinda sounded like Slade speeded up? Oasis certainly did, and they ruled Britannia for many years because of it. I'm not certain that The Gusto have achieved that high level of song-craft just yet. You know, where nearly everything they touch is immediately hummable. But the Madison band does have a rousing hybrid sound that blends hormonal punk energy and, for lack of better term, "classic rock" melody to good effect.
On "Auburn," a highlight from the band's debut full length album The Way It Is from Crustacean Records, a basic but clever guitar hook serves as an intro to the verses, priming the pump for pugnacious, half-sneered vocals that betray the hint of an English accent.
Eventually, the quartet gives the proceedings over to a guitar solo, but for the most part, they lock down on the tune's chugging chord progression and grind as much primitive oomph as possible into the 4/4 beat as they can muster.
Call it "Remember '77" verisimilitude or just plain rock 'n' roll nostalgia. Whatever it is, "Auburn" is a lot of fist pumpin' fun. If pogoing and bondage pants get a push from influential music bloggers (and they just might), you can be sure that exuberant, vaguely dangerous bands like The Gusto will pack every underground club and temporary basement venue in the nation with black leather jacket-clad young adults.
That is, if anyone can still afford to fill up the band van.
An MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. More songs by the band can be listened to on its MySpace page, and more info about its background and line-up is available in its Crustacean profile. The Gusto is playing a CD release party at The Corral Room on Saturday, July 5. The band is also
opening for The Hold Steady at the Majestic Theatre on Monday, July 21 playing at the Majestic Theatre on Saturday, July 19 for the Crustacean Records DVD release show, and headline an all-punk show at the High Noon Saloon on Monday, July 28.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.