The Measure (SA)
No Idea Records
I try not be a fan boy about ladies in punk rock. I do a pretty good job of that actually. While I am certainly not immune to a lady that catches my fancy, generally I take ladies in punk rock at face value, a person who likes the same music as I do. But sometimes I get unrequited crushes. Much like about 100 other old fart, 33 year old punk geeks, I now have a crush on Laura Measure. It is not because she plays in a really good pop punk band, or does really great art work utilizing old dictionaries as her canvas. Those things certainly don’t hurt. But it’s pretty much because she played my beloved des_ark on Razorcake Podcast #127 (which you can find here). There was something about that moment when she started talking about des_ark that I was just all like “awwwww”. I mean, I get excited about a lot of bands, but I get REALLY FUCKING EXCITED about des_ark and I get really excited when people know who they are. So yes, that’s kind of a way to induce an unrequited crush. Luckily, I am pretty lazy and such emotions don’t overcome me with any inkling to any type of action. Mostly I just go “awwwww, she likes des_ark, that’s so cool” when I encounter anything doing with The Measure (SA).
So what did those following 230 words have to do with this new album, Notes by the Measure (SA)? Well, said podcast and said love for des_ark led directly to me purchasing said album from iTunes on the fine evening when this post was crafted. So yea, if you were taking notes (zing, thank you folks, I’ll be here all night, take your wife please, no really, hahahaha) you’d realize I’ve written about The Measure (SA) in the past. They’ve done a few splits on some rad labels lately that ran across my computer/ipod and into my ears. You would think that would be enough though right. I mean, I said nice things about them in the past. But seriously, my cash flow is kinda gonna be limited real soon (like today when you read this, I will be unemployed) and buying albums is gonna be a thing of the past until I get another job (so seriously, gift me some fucking iTunes, send me records in the mail, hook me up). So, this is probably the last album I will be buying for a long time. Seriously.
With all that said, it’s pretty awesome. I mean, it’s a pop punk band from New Jersey. Ergs drummer Mikey Yannich played the skins on it (though he’s not in the band anymore). It was recorded on reel to real (hahahaha) tape and sounds like it. I mean, it’s such a crisp and wonderful recording. You kind of actually realize hearing it how shitty everything else sounds when the main source is digital. It’s true. I don’t consider myself a purist. But fucking tape is the only way to go if you’re putting your music down. In a sea of endless punk bands, part of what is endearing about The Measure (SA), aside from their infectious, complex, sweat pop punk music, is the absolute warmth as the headphones vibrate against your ears. There is a bit of Discount in the music, but it’s actually more pronounced because both bands laid down their magic on magnetic tape.
Having said all this, the album could use a few less songs. 14 is just a lot of songs to digest, even in a half an hour. In fact, that’s kind of too much. Granted the Assholeparade 7″ I got this weekend is 14 songs, but it’s only like ten minutes. There is a happy medium. And Notes doesn’t quite get it. There isn’t enough diversity in the song writing to sustain this kind of a presentation and some of the nuances get lost. The other thing is that with such a large output, Laura Measure is only now beginning to really display her emotional range as a singer. In fact, if I wasn’t on my third consecutive listen to this album, closing track “Timburkulosis” probably would have passed without notice. But damn, the beginning part is a really strong vocal performance, unlike anything I’ve heard yet. Fans love productivity from bands, and I get that this record was done so long ago that the band really wanted to get it out to the public and tour. But I’d rather have 11 or 12 shining moments then 14 songs. I want to be able to hear some distinction and range. No band can sustain cohesion and detail over 14 songs at a time. I don’t care who they are. The Measure (SA) has a sound unique to them, but it’s only got so much a range right now.
Never mind though, Notes is still yards beyond a lot of other bands in the race to get that shit out in front of the kids. The Measure (SA) is really establishing themselves as the next generation of solid, awesome pop punk bands. Quick vocal delivery, crisp guitars, plodding and thumping drums. They sound cute, but not without substance. If you’re feeling like dancing in your underwear in your bedroom alone on a Tuesday night, Notes will give you the needed soundtrack so you don’t look like a crazy person.