Reviewed by Kit Burns
Housman’s Athletes/Race to the Finish
At first, I had mistakenly pegged Housman’s Athletes as Blink-182 clones. Certainly vocalist/guitarist Eric Epps employs that unmistakable adolescent whine on “Things No One Wants”; however, once the swirling keyboards kick in it’s obvious that these Arizona kids are looking up to the more ambitious Killers. Furthermore, as the record progresses, Epps’ voice gradually builds to a deeper, angrier tone a la Against Me! Lyrically, too, Housman’s Athletes don’t drag themselves down to the infantile level of Blink-182′s silliest moments.
Race to the Finish erupts with pedal-to-the-floor exuberance. “Unrequited” pounds the pavement with its rapid-fire percussion, throbbing bass, buoyant keyboards, and fiery guitars. To put it simply: It rocks like hell. “This Wretched Moment” is pop-punk with more brittle guitars while “Three Part Harmony” is a focused and exhilarating blast of high energy. The string-infatuated “Four Cheers for Innocence” and the hysterically funny cowpunk number “The Country Waltz” display iconoclastic sides to Housman’s Athletes that are worth investigating in the future.