By Team Backbeat
By Amber Taufen
By Jon Solomon
By Tom Murphy
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
After chastising the act for its gratuitous use of F-bombs, Salyers suggests what Rat can do to improve, namely listen to the big three of punk: the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Clash.
Salyers himself has never played in a band -- unless you count the marching band. But he knows what he likes, and what he doesn't. "My opinion doesn't really mean more than anyone else's," he notes. "It's just that we're willing to go out there and make our opinions heard."
The Cleaners' reviews aren't patently negative, nor are their opinions limited to local musicians. A while back, after I weighed in on Starfuzz's debut, Salyers took me to task on that band's message board. In my review, I'd employed a string of what I thought were colorful metaphors to describe the music, then offered up my overall appraisal: You Are Food struck me as a stellar debut from a promising new band, but parts of the album seemed superfluous. The lack of artistic restraint prevented the disc from being a seamless endeavor from end to end; Starfuzz would have been better advised to issue Food as an EP rather than a full-length. I thought my take (which I still stand by, incidentally) was clear -- but the head Cleaner disagreed.
"Yeah, but what's he saying," Salyers wrote in his critique of my critique. "I don't get much out of it except where he says it 'has all the makings of a classic album.' It seems like he kind of liked it, but would have changed some things. I know I'm biased, but I don't believe that's the only thing that makes me say I think my writing was better."
You never know. Someday these geeks might inherit the word.
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