Permanent Makeup is the most important punk band in Florida. Having spent nearly a decade fronting Florida DIY pioneers Blast & the Detergents, bass player and head barker Christopher Nadeau has discovered and developed a punk rock momentum too pure to be considered “derivative”, too immediate to be labeled nostalgic. Taker follows intimately in the footsteps of 2014’s The Void…it Creeps, all barb-wire small talk and open ended questions. Guitar-abuser James Bess abandons the sarcastic atonal Pere Ubu workouts that carried The Void… adopting a post-punk urgency that swings like a machete over Susan Dickson’s floor tom thuggery. The hooks are minimal, slight, collateral damage of melody.
“Hey Taker” kicks off Side A with a muddled bass before sinking into a Mike Watt-style groove, challenging an unknown subject to embrace community over capitalism. It’s important to note that, while the lyrics are often unintelligible, the message is never lost. Permanent Makeup wants action, Permanent Makeup expects accountability and Permanent Makeup has no time for your excuses. “Moderation” comes out of the gate like CBGB-era Talking Heads. Erratic and paranoid, dance floor rhythms for the drunk and clumsy.
“Blot Out The Sun” announces Side B. It may be the most Permanent Makeup song ever recorded. Punk rock vocals 101, James Bess’ astronaut guitar lines and a tom heavy drum racket that falls apart in all the right ways. “Chafing” vibrates with a desperation biologically native to Midwestern punk rock. Yelps and skronks that explode like roman candles in the hands of cul de sac heroes.
Should there be any fault with Taker, it would be the absence of spontaneity and danger that made The Void… so unshakable. Taker is the sound of a band embracing the pedestal. Caught between the Church Of Mackaye and the Book Of Devo, a trailblazer in the increasingly fertile Florida underground.
To read my review of “The Void…It Creeps” from 2013 visit Obscure Sound below!