[sic] Magazine

Memo PST – S/T

When it comes to punk, there’s a fine line between nostalgia and authenticity. For obvious reasons, you can’t make a true ’77 punk record these days. Any attempt to do so, as Memo PST clearly does, sets the album up for a degree of scrutiny. Here we go, then. Despite bringing MS Outlook storage files to mind with its name, Memo PST is, without question, a fairly straightforward, first wave-inspired, American punk/garage-punk record and the sound is authentically and intentionally rough thanks to being recorded in under a week. It certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously either – clock the fun, fast and amped “I Used To Be A Pretty Boy” single as exhibit A.

Treading lightly but reverentially over the source material (we won’t name names), these LA punk lifers (Orville Neeley (OBN IIIs), Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult, GØGGS), Danny Clodfelter, Jackson Todd) may no longer be young, but they’re undoubtedly loud and snotty, their raw appeal laid down at John Dwyer’s Discount Mirrors studio. Recycling three tracks from their debut EP, the no-messing Memo PST LP comes in at 12 tracks over and done in 33 minutes – arguably a little bloated for a bona fide punk record, but we won’t split Mohicans. It’s all a bit samey too, but that’s authentic too, isn’t it? The tracks themselves? They’re impeccably spittle-flecked, of course.

Two-minute, retro ripper “Coming Back From Hell” is a muscular stomp full of guitar fuzz and chugging bass, its title largely repeated by way of sneering lyrics that are drawn out emphatically like certain theatrical performers of old. Amidst basement classic-rock licks, an imperfect riff picks out the peaks during the murky tumble of “Blue Cellophane”, lead guitar going solo during the gnarly final exchanges. “Rise Fall Repeat” unwinds the tension with a slower churn of bass and drums, while the pogoing crunch of the slurred “Night Circuit” comes crawling out of the U-bend at CBGBs. Meanwhile, “Best Ones Leave” is a white-knuckle ride, its heavy blows and furious feedback whipping around like an untended pressure hose.

Think they don’t make ‘em like they used to? Well, they do, actually. Memo PST is as if electronic music never happened.

Best track: “Coming Back From Hell”

~Memo PST is released 7th June 2023 via In The Red.~