Douglas Martin’s Dirty Shoes: Super Wimps, the Band of Steel

Douglas Martin Music has been up on Wimps since 2013, now the Seattle band signed to Kill Rock Stars release "Super Me."
By    August 13, 2015


Douglas Martin been on the honor roll

Wimps have gotten a lot of mileage out of sensationalizing the mundane. The Seattle slack-motherfucker-punk trio’s debut album, Repeat, featured almost-anthemic songs about being grouchy, quitting your job, and an ace title-track about the sheer monotony of being in a rut. Truth be told, any punk-leaning album with not one but two songs about sleeping (“Slept in Late,” “Nap”) taps right into the crux of Douglas Martin Music.

In the 2 ½ years since their debut, Wimps have been getting better and better as well as raising a higher and higher profile, as evidenced by the announcement of their signing to vaunted Pacific Northwest label Kill Rock Stars — which, unless you only know them as the conduit for early Decemberists records, is a perfect fit for a band with their sound. Super Me, their first release for their new label, is a bite-sized morsel of what they do best.

At five songs clocking in at a glass of water shy of ten minutes, Super Me plows through at an insistent pace and a twitchy intensity recognizable to anybody familiar with general anxiety. That nervousness seeps into the subject matter of the songs here: “Take It as It Comes” contains a punctuational refrain of “I know this sucks,” while “Leftovers” — in between mewling backing vocals during the chorus — finds front-woman Rachel Ratner rebuffing an offer to go to a nice restaurant to eat reheated takeout in bed while contemplating death. Closing number “Super Me” is not only about being able to change in a phone booth, but also the superhuman ability of getting through everyday social situations.

With its rollicking tempo and uncomplicated song structure, EP highlight “Settling Down” tackles both traditional monogamy and other people’s fidgeting as stressors in one shot. “Sloppy Seconds,” about the underwhelming sensation of eating after someone and tasting the backwash in their drink, highlights Wimps’ strength as songwriters: Whether taking on existential dread or eating ramen noodles under the sink, theirs are quick, immensely fun, pogo-friendly songs about how shitty life can be sometimes.

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