A quick look a couple of new releases from local favorites Matt Downer and Future Virgins.
Matt Downer, under the “Old Chattanooga” name (oldchattanooga.bandcamp.com), has released a new solo album entitled Hill City Bust Down, leaning toward the more playful and comical side of old-timey music.
Matt Downer’s over-dubbing-enhanced one-man band offers jaunty acoustic guitar strums with either fiddling or banjo picking and his Appalachian vocal stylings.
Interspersed among the songs are groan-worthy joke recitations (think Abner Jay-type minstrelry), like one with a man who drinks brake fluid and “can stop anytime.”
Downer throws himself into an earlier era with aplomb, necessary to pull off the kazooing on “Mary Don’t You Weep” or the spirited mule-sound refrain of “Johnson’s Gray Mule.”
A cornerstone of the Chattanooga punk scene, Future Virgins (facebook.com/FutureVirgins) serves up the two-track Centers 7-inch single, promising more energy and sweat per second than your typical punk stompers.
“Centers” is an ardent plea facing internal disintegration (“our personal apocalypse”) and a shell of rage, exploding in a potent minute and a half. “Late Republic,” a track which does not appear on the band’s 2013 album Late Republic, offers more pop facets to the punk sparks, with tambourines and backing “ahh” vocals, coming together with a compelling, catchy tug.
The single’s brevity and ultra-conciseness work in its favor, guaranteeing that the listener will drop the needle in the opening groove, again and again.
Future Virgins will play with the Paul Collins Beat at Sluggo’s North on Oct. 29.