Permanent Waves, Tyvek
1811 14th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Make-Up is a group that composes superior, original music, performs that music dynamically in spaces and nightclubs, and organizes the performances at which they appear across the U.S.A. These performances have been characterized by the freneticism, catharsis and spirituality of what can only be described as GOSPEL MUSIC.
Full of half-hearted fuzz riffs and tossed-off two-note vocals, Tyvek's self-titled debut made for great recession-era listening. In a world suddenly crowded with dying malls, half-built condos, and underwater McMansions, the Detroit basement-punks' wobbly songwriting sounded weirdly poignant. But unlike the Midwestern punks that came before them-- the Stooges, the Electric Eels, Negative Approach, to name a few-- Tyvek never seemed particularly cheesed-off about their surroundings. The rotating cast of collaborators fronted by guitarist/singer Kevin Boyer was agitated and noisy, but never aggressive.
The band's new full-length is tight, snotty, and pogo-worthy. The mellow instrumental snippets that padded the last LP are long gone. Now there's only the clacking of drumsticks to signal the next onslaught of distortion and motor-mouthed shouting. As a result, they nail the burnt-out 'burbs imagery better than ever. "Underwater institution/ Silent hallways vacant always endless yards of paper trails/ Medications healthy systems baby doctors cut their tails," shouts Boyer over chunky power chords on "Underwater 1", ticking off his list of gripes. In the refrain, he boils it all down to one perfect image of a "Safeway bag now sticking to my shoe." "Frustration Rock", the band's original aggro anthem, sounds kind of nerdy in comparison.
Tyvek's first full-length was cobbled together from a smorgasbord of the bands favorite tapes-- practice takes and basement jams full of lo-fi gristle. This time around, Tyvek spent some money. Nothing Fits is the band's first release to be recorded in an actual studio, and the result is a shorter, more focused record, but hardly a cleaner one. On the title track-- with its unrelenting snare cracks and blizzard of treble-cranked guitars-- Tyvek come off like the Motor City's answer to Huggy Bear.
But like the best old-time hardcore, there's an element of audience participation built in via shout-along refrains. Those lyrics are clear enough: "People in the passing lane, just pricks in a car," sings Boyer. "Fuck off!" responds an overdubbed chorus. And burried down in the din, there's a tried and true posi-punk message. "Underwater 2" delivers the counter-arguement to Pt. 1's bleak, dumpster-diving worldview: "Want to make it something out of nothing at all/ So we've gotta pull together/ Now we gotta just start small," sings Boyer. "It's all right/ just do what you want." Tyvek are slackers no more.