Anyone who knows me knows my taste follows the orbit laid out by Hot Water Music, Leatherface, and other aggro-melodic sad sack punk planets. I like some gravel, I like some distortion. I like post-hardcore when it goes full circle from breaking down the blank verse of hardcore and taking it to the rhymes and meter of traditional songwriting. Catchy, loud, powerful– that’s what I’m into. Question Tuesday are a satellite on a similar trajectory. Local to Portland, OR, worshiping at the altar of Leatherface, with an EP called We Don’t Want What You’re Selling.
Their sound is heavy riffs, beat-to-shit skins, trilling leads, and broken glass vocals. They run the line between shouted urgency and full throated singalongs. Six songs of punk rock that hearkens back to an era of growth, post revolution summer, as emocore and post-hardcore grew and adapted from their early scenes into the stuff that filled the rosters of No Idea Records before the turn of the millenia.
“Bring It Down” opens the EP with a riff that alternates between chugged power chords and the aforementioned trilling leads, punctuated with a charged vocal attack. “Black & Blue” features a busy guitar line beneath its verse that shows Question Tuesday playing with the basics of punk songwriting by not relying entirely on chord progressions to drive their songs. In fact, one of things I like the most about We Don’t Want What You’re Selling is that their leads are prominent as in the style of the genre, but never as an impersonation of it. Hot Water Music and Leatherface both have a pretty unique sound to their approach of lead guitar, but Question Tuesday takes their own way rather than copying what the other guys are known for. Their sound is a bit more straight rock ‘n roll, more rooted in melody, different enough to carve out their own identity.
There’s even some shades of 90s Epitaph here, with “Writing on the Walls’” frenetic double-time drumming near the middle of the song. The EP ends with “See a Glow,” which has a sort of dreamy pace, even with its thick guitar distortion. It contains some confessional lyricism like, “It’s alright to fall to pieces,” but the track isn’t as dynamic as I’d like and it’s run time is felt more than it should be.
We Don’t Want What You’re Selling is a strong release from a young band. Minor missteps are easy to forgive in a six-song EP, especially in one that so earnestly walks in the shoes of a sound out-of-vogue. Question Tuesday aren’t really reinventing anything here, but they aren’t stagnating it either– just using it as a springboard for self-expression. It’s where we all start, and for fans of the style, it’ll be interesting to see where Question Tuesday goes.