Music Review: The Ergs – That’s It… Bye 7″
Goodbye kisses should always come as sweet as this. A 12″ that should’ve been a 7″ (pressing problems, I hear) boasting three killer tunes that are as good as anything on the cult classic Dorkrockcorkrod, plus some excellent sleeve art from Mitch Clem (the Pushead of pop-punk).
The Ergs have been rocking their take on ’90s US pop-punk (these guys channel Screeching Weasel, the Descendents and J Church like nobody else, with a heavy emphasis on broken hearts and lost loves) since the end of that decade, but announced they were splitting last year. And this is it: they’ve played their last shows, and this is their last record.
The record opens up with ‘Anthem For A New Amanda’, a half-triumphant half-oh fuck ballad to losing someone and looking forwards. Driven by a smooth rock & roll bassline that I dare you to not pretend to play, it kicks into electric organ partway through before a brilliantly cheesy pop-punk solo emerges to drive the song towards its climax. Bittersweet but upbeat, this is classic Ergs. It segues smoothly into ‘And the True Believers’, a song that isn’t quite as catchy but does evoke an optimistic sense of camaraderie.
Closing the 7″ off is ‘Piltdown Man’, penned and sung by another member of the band. It’s not as immediate, and those vocals aren’t as distinctive, but the opening melody is gorgeous and it has its own subtle charms. The lead guitar teases at killer hooks and the central conceit – searching for the missing link but only coming up with Piltdown Men – is a surprisingly evocative metaphor for the difficulties of self-exploration.
It’s a shame the band haven’t hit the UK since they announced they were splitting. A trend most of my favourite American punk and hardcore bands seem to be following, but hey. At least the Ergs sent me this little love note; thanks guys. We know you did it all for us. Or maybe for you, but you were always so good about it.
[I've not had an okay to share any of the songs on here, and I think none of them are on MySpace for anyone outside the US. Fortunately, the label have 'Anthem For a New Amanda' on their MySpace page.]