December 17, 2008
s/t (Dischord 1996)
It may not be the most glamorous album to write about here, but there is something primal and minimal about the Warmers that impels me to revisit it every few months. At first listen, it bears close resemblance to a more ramshackle Fugazi mixed with an even more messy Gang of Four, but there is a lot more going on here than implied by my lazy comparisons. Comprised of Alec Mackaye of Faith/Ignition, Amy Farina of the Evens/Lois and Juan Luis Carrera of the Slowdime label, the Warmers died out way before they should since their s/t debut is such a concise slice of compact riffs, tight drumming and simple, but effective shouts. Yes, these three components have fueled many a punk band, but the Warmers had it down to a science. There isn’t an ounce of fat or a bum note to be found, just the most economical path to getting to the punchline while batting you about the ears in the process. Where Fugazi and even the Gang of Four have worn out there welcome in this biased household, the Warmers’ imperfect masterpieces keep me reaching for this album more often than any other release on Dischord. It is a damn shame that the band peetered out since there is something hypnotic about their tightly wound usage of repetitive riffs that pointed towards something even greater. Before you look for revelatory moments, remember it is definitely a grower, not a shower.