14 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pittsburgh, PA’s The Don (as they’re known in some circles) have been around since 1991, and took a road barely traveled at the time: they didn’t bother with vocals and lyrics, but focused instead on hard angles, shifting time signatures and bludgeoning guitars, and cultivating an improv aesthetic accented with carefully placed clutter and crunch. Over time, the band changed both labels and line-ups (only founder/drummer Damon Che remains, but he’s the crucial core of the Don’s sound), and on Punkgasm, they’ve added vocals, to the dismay of some hardcore fans. But they work fine for the most part, sprinkled lightly on a few tracks, and worked into the mix with a levity. While there are moments of sheer textural delight (such as percussive hot spot “S*** Kids Galore,” the funky “Bulk Eye” and “Awe Man...,” the hazy “Celestial Dusty Groove,” or the guitar onslaught that is “Slaughbaugh’s Ought Not...”). The pièce de résistance is the nine-minute protean opener, “Loudest Shop Vac In the World,” a beautiful, rhythmic and flowing math-rock epic that builds and fades and builds again in a wash of sounds alternately delicate and graceful, brawny and menacing. A great way to meet The Don.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pittsburgh, PA’s The Don (as they’re known in some circles) have been around since 1991, and took a road barely traveled at the time: they didn’t bother with vocals and lyrics, but focused instead on hard angles, shifting time signatures and bludgeoning guitars, and cultivating an improv aesthetic accented with carefully placed clutter and crunch. Over time, the band changed both labels and line-ups (only founder/drummer Damon Che remains, but he’s the crucial core of the Don’s sound), and on Punkgasm, they’ve added vocals, to the dismay of some hardcore fans. But they work fine for the most part, sprinkled lightly on a few tracks, and worked into the mix with a levity. While there are moments of sheer textural delight (such as percussive hot spot “S*** Kids Galore,” the funky “Bulk Eye” and “Awe Man...,” the hazy “Celestial Dusty Groove,” or the guitar onslaught that is “Slaughbaugh’s Ought Not...”). The pièce de résistance is the nine-minute protean opener, “Loudest Shop Vac In the World,” a beautiful, rhythmic and flowing math-rock epic that builds and fades and builds again in a wash of sounds alternately delicate and graceful, brawny and menacing. A great way to meet The Don.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

LesHef ,

Punkgasm Rocks Like Noam Chomsky on Qualudes

This album confirms that Don Caballero has only begun. I remember hearing their first album, For Respect, and thinking they couldn't get any better. Every album has improved on the fundamental idea that you can rock out in a mathmatical way and make it cool. This album might be the best Don Cab album yet. Purchase it. Yea.

Michael D G ,

Punkgasm Review in 5 Easy Steps!

1. Damon is still an incredible drumming machine and Don Cab is still one rockin band.

2. Punkgasm is a nice progression from World Class Listening Problem. They keep the Don Cab sound while trying some new and interesting things.

3. This album is a "grower." The vocals and a few of the filler songs may seem weird at first, but over time you will love them.

4. Don't expect American Don Vol. 2 and you won't be disappointed.

5. Buy and enjoy this record!

ShotInTheDark ,

The Damon Che Band...

This album is much like World Class Listening Problem (plus a few unnecessary lyrics) because, at least from my perspective, it's all about Damon Che. I'm a sucker for drum-based bands so I'm a fan of this album; but I'm also a fan of Don Cab's first handful of albums, and this is definitely a step in the opposite direction of those. Yet, I still enjoy the evolutionary aspects of the music. As soon as you get bored of a stage in the song, they hit you with something new. Maybe I'll just always love anything with the name "Don Caballero" on the cover.

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