James Canty’s great ham-fisted, tremolo-damaged organ lead introduces the new Make-Up EP, Substance Abuse. Over funky drummer Steve Gamboa’s boxy beat and bassist Michelle Mae’s chunky bass, the spiffiest spiv, Ian Svenonius, rasps “Get on the right track” on the enlivening title tune. The B-side’s “Under the Impression” is less distinct, but the record ends with the lilting “Have You Heard the Tape?,” an exaltation of the powerful comforts of music: It’s moments of honesty such as “Tape?” that render mute any accusations of the Make-Up being purely makeup. Because the Substance Abuse 7-inch is released on the Japanese label Timebomb the only places to buy it are Vinyl Ink and Yesterday and Today.
Dischord has as many exes as a divorce support group. From among the label’s immense stable of broken-up and reconfigured bands come the Dusters, featuring former members of Severin and Delta 72, galloping in with a debut 7-inch of wiry power pop. On the A-side, “Forest Fire,” Alec Bourgeois’ double-tracked vocals give the spare trio sound a smoothly layered surface. The flip, “Seventeen,” features toughened ’60s pop-groove verses contrasting with stomping, thickly chorded choruses. It’s an excellent B-side, that, unlike many, isn’t beside the point. A split with Dischord, “Forest Fire/Seventeen” is available for $3 ppd. from Superbad, P.O. Box 21313, Washington, DC 20009-1313.Christopher Porter