by Joe Golfen
Fine Pets sounds like the kind of band you’d discover while crashing at a really rowdy house party. Armed with fuzzed out rave-ups and blown-speaker vocals, the Portland, Ore.-based band offers lo-fi punk at its best on their latest cassette, Formally Pretty.
The trouble with playing things loud and loose is that it is a limited template to work with, and too often bands find themselves retreading the same sounds for an entire record, each song bleeding into the next without making too much of an impression. But Fine Pets switch things up often enough to keep things fun and engaging, resulting in 23-minutes of relentless energy.
The buzzy opener “sex wars” kicks things off right, offering just under two minutes of blown-out punk goodness. The druggy haze of “showgaze backlash” recalls the weird slower tracks on Black Lips records, while “maligned” chugs along with a taunt Joy Division drive.
The gentrification-bashing “more condos, please” is a great punk rock tune, as is “anything weird.” And the minute-long noise-rock string fiddling that kicks off “come out” makes the tight payoff worth it.
Check it out here.