East Bay Express – Impediments

East Bay Express
By Mark Keresman

October 21, 2009

Jeez, what year is this? I know this’ll make me sound old, but some of this debut platter by Oakland’s Impediments sounds like one of those late glitter-era/proto-punk platters (e.g., New York Dolls, Dictators) while the rest of it sounds like the class of 1977 (not that it’s a bad thing per se). Even the brittle, no-frills-with-a-hint-of-echo production is a ringer for that of the maiden voyages of the Dead Boys and the Heartbreakers (the Johnny Thunders combo, gang) along with the lesser-known bashers the Zeros and 999.

The vocals of Nick Allen and Ray Seraphin ooze adolescent impatience and snotty impertinence, the tempos range from fast to faster (though certainly not hardcore), lyrics are knee-high nihilism with a nudge-wink, and their melodies have the same sweet-and-sour melancholy as the earliest songs by the Ramones and the Jam. The terse, rowdy guitar solos end almost as quickly as you’ve realized they’d begun, as grinding-slamming chords are the order of the day.

Originality? Not really, but these lads’ve got enough spunk and style to rock their contemporaries and give grads of the 1976-’79 punk epoch pangs of beer-scented nostalgia. These young dudes carry the news and they mean it, maan. (HappyParts Recordings)

Impediments perform on Sunday, Oct. 25, at the Budget Rock Festival at Thee Parkside (1600 17th St., San Francisco). 2 p.m

Budget Rock

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