Say you’ve been wanking your heart out in a noise punk band for a couple years, it got as big as one of those can, you’re still stomping it out in a couple hardcore projects but your heart is yearning for the simplicity of a careless yesteryear of youthful, pure pogo-bopping to rudimentary melodies. What do you do? Start a synth-punk band of course.
The Ointment has finally come to us out of the punk world’s years-long abandonment of anything that wreaks of new technology. There’s a natural luddite inclination for purists to eschew the modern world of smart phones and user friendly software that made any teen with a laptop into a top 40 icon. However, through the mental blockades, these guys remembered that synths and digital effects have been around since the beginning of punk [that old debatable date that no one seems to agree on].
What they deliver is a nutty, jerking rhythm that prides itself on the joys of simplicity rather than the pissing match of aggressive hardcore. It ends up sounding like a mash-up of the Screamers and Devo if they were being attacked by a spaceship. The guitar licks are smart in their restraint and walk that perfect line between spontaneity and predictability while the vocals carry that classic new wave audacity of self-expression. The bass synth holds everything down and simultaneously manipulates their geometric light show through some doo-dad into a projector, strobing the audience into retro sensory overload as noise wizard Adam twiddles and zips away at Korg Volca through a few effects pedals over their whole set invoking in the mind’s eye a vignette of a gaggle of monkeys let loose in a space station to twist valves and propel themselves via flatulence to the next galaxy. If Hawkwind ever went to a Units show, they’d start making music just like this. When you get tired of the unrelenting seriousness most loud, fast music relies on, check out the Ointment’s first leaked track.