Two of the biggest names in noise-rock right now are Sub Pop signees Pissed Jeans
and Metz, who build their bad-vibes punk on dirgy, rotten low end and over-the-top pummeling. Los Angeles trio Lamps
didn’t fall far from that tree, but instead of anchoring their blown-out guitar squall in pounding misery, they make it herky-jerky, angular, and almost fun. On the recent Under the Water Under the Ground
(In the Red) the rhythm section holds down jumpy one-two beats while front man Monty Buckles cycles through outrageous guitar effects behind his deadpan, muffled vocals. Lamps’ foot-tappingly upbeat noise
almost sounds like the aforementioned Sub Pop champions crossing paths with San Francisco garage-rock acts such as Thee Oh Sees or the Coachwhips—in fact, it was recorded by Chris Woodhouse, the mastermind behind the board for pretty much every band to come out of that prolific Bay Area scene, and it sounds bright, full, and clear. —Luca Cimarusti The Useless Eaters and Running open.