A horrible hack


Join Us

Year Released: 1999
Format: LP
Label: Dischord
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Hmm. It's definitely rock. But not in the totally conventional sense of the word. Sometimes they sound like a regular rock band, but then they do this other stuff to it too. Mess it about, sound like they are out of tune or something. It all goes skewed. And I like it. Some of the songs bring to mind a bizarre hybrid of the Wrens, Kerosene 454 (I can totally see why the 2 bands toured together, and they share J.Robbins as producer too) and maybe even the Wildhearts. I'll try and explain that bit in a moment.

Opening track "Yellow Light" is a perfect example of their Wrens-iness. A very unstraightforward verse with offkilter guitar that takes a bit of getting used to, is tied to a much poppier chorus, with just the addition of a chorus of backing vocals to complete the picture. Then we move onto "Cheap Rip", with this big, chunky sound that could easily have been borrowed from a Wildhearts song. Bluetip certainly like their ROCK, but they know that to spice up their songs, they have to keep you on your toes, keep you guessing.

They do cool things like cut from "Carbon Copy", a meandering, wandering track which sounds like it doesn't ever want to end, directly into the more rocking "Salinas" almost instantaneously, and it will still come as a surprise after repeated listenings. Title track "Join Us" is a lumbering monster of a song, the bass of it would probably break bones if you dropped it on your toes, it's pretty damn heavy.

Prime effort might be "F-", which really lets go and rocks on all cylinders, you gotta love the awesome, crunchy guitar sound that drives this one a long.

I really like Jason Farrell's powerful vocals, ranging from being loud and shouty to a more rock'n'rolly sound. Does some great, occasional, talked sections too. And he sounds a bit like the singer from the afforementioned Kerosene 454 at times. "Bad Flat" lets Farrell do it all in one song, starting off very softly, picking up, putting in a particulary effective 'speaky' bit, and then going off into a bizarrely anthemic rock stylee section that the Wildheart wouldn't have been upset with. It sounds like it should be the end of the song. But isn't.

Versatile, varied and different. If you want a tag, then it's lumped into the post hardcore category, which I will leave someone else to define. I hope I get the chance to check them oot when they tour here with the equally cool and different sounding, Farewell Bend.

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