Review: Live From Las Vegas/Computer Says No Split 7"

Live From Las Vegas/Computer Says No - Split 7"
(Self-Released 2013)
"Tracks that aren't flashy, but get the job done"

This is the type of release that I love to get in the mail: a 7" EP showcasing tracks by two German punk bands, Live From Las Vegas and Computer Says No. I know it's wrong to judge a book (or record, for that matter) by its cover, but after scrutinizing the 7"'s sleeve and disc art, I had high hopes for this listen. The sleeve has the bold colors and geometric minimalism of  a 50's jazz LP with a touch of flashiness. The label on the record itself a nice off-white hue contrasted by stark, blocky font, reminding me of my copy of Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A'Changin'.

Enough of my nerdy graphic design talk, though. Let's get to the music. I happened to start playing the record on Live In Las Vegas' side. Unlike the city they're named for, the band rattles off two tracks that aren't flashy, but get the job done. The first of the two, "Neon Soul" is the best this record has to offer. Unlike the majority of modern punk songs, its sound is crisp rather than gritty. There's definitely a Ramones-era rock influence and the surf-y riffs and shouted vocals in the chorus remind me of Agent Orange's 1979 hit "Bloodstains". Any track that conjures up Agent Orange's sound is doing something right. "You Again" follows and it has a nice garage rock tone with an off-kilter rhythm, not unlike more than a few Beat Happening tunes. Overall, these were a solid couple of singles.

On the flip side, there's a lone song by Computer Says No called "Objeto Del Sexo". It's a lot more aggressive than the other two songs, with snarling, crunchy chords that grab you by the collar, shake you back and forth and then spit in your face. Not the sort of thing I usually go for, but Computer Says No pulls off the attitude well, and there's a cool sounding bridge that involves sleigh bells and impressive guitar acrobatics. It's a pretty decent tune. You can listen to this EP below and buy it here.