Title: Hit of the Week
Label: tREND iS dEAD! Records
Catalog #: TID-203
Keywords: Gutter Pop, Power Pop, Punk
METALLEG is a three-piece from New York who crank out, in the words of their label tREND iS dEAD!, “3-chord contagions (…) [with] bigger hooks than Muhammad Ali,” or, put simply, “gutter pop.” Comprised of the rhythm section from Dirty Fences and the frontman of Nat Brower & The Power, the three draw musical influence from Ramones, Fred Frith, The Beatles, GG Allin, and Buddy Holly and have a general interest in “B-movies and trashed romance.” Their full-length debut Hit of the Week is a rough, fast take on power pop that will hit the sweet spot for all of those fans of The Briefs and the band that emerged from The Briefs’ indefinite hiatus: The Cute Lepers. I know it is probably not polite to compare, but like The Briefs, METALLEG’s tunes are distilled down to their catchiest essence. Aside from a guitar solo here and there, not a single wasted measure can be found on the album; every second of this nineteen-and-a-half minute collection is hook-laden and driving, accompanying simple lyrics, most often about girls (because what is really more important?), that drill their way straight into your skull. I am not going to ruin the journey for any perspective listeners by picking these songs apart, track by track, but I will say that the backing vocals on “Convict” are undeniable, bringing to mind an image of John Lennon and Paul McCartney in studded biker jackets. Also, I have been singing “I bleed a lot, oh oh!” to myself frequently after only hearing the song once. Finally, “Back and Forth” and “What’s Your Name?” that bookend Hit of the Week are solid gold. I will say, as a Briefs fan, that the major difference between the two bands is that The Briefs were a little snottier, playing up the punk attitude, whereas with METALLEG it feels like they create pop songs for people with short attention spans. This is not a knock against METALLEG in any way, just a difference; perhaps it is just an east coast/west coast thing.