People — SAD AND HORNY

“. . .I got the blues in my heart,
I got the blues in my balls. . .”

Sadly, this band seems to have split up. However, Sad And Horny is a hidden gem, which offers a valuable entry-point into this criminally-overlooked 5-song EP, Sorry, Mom And Dad. The track doesn’t make it to the two-minute mark but they don’t need that much time to lock into a classic punk groove and let the singer spout off clever turns-of-phrase with out-of-breath energy in a catchy staccato rhythm. Sonically, it resembles early-eighties proto-hardcore, a time before Black Flag and Minor Threat canonized the format. They play it with a vivaciousness that makes that sound their own.

Thousands of dudes wearing backward baseball caps and low-slung guitars have tried to channel Paul Westerberg’s charming artlessness but an extremely limited number of them have succeeded. Jasper, Georgia’s punk rock sons, People, however, pull it off. The EP itself, recorded in 2015, resembles a collection of short stories as much as it does a tribute to classic, second-wave punk rock. Taking a look through their lyrics (which they’ve very helpfully posted to their bandcamp as the singer isn’t a huge fan of enunciation) is a worthy trip as the band takes the listener through a variety of post-adolescent, small-town concerns with their lead singer shrugging out nuanced observations on his parochial upbringing within a decidedly unnuanced vocal performance. Here, he documents what it feels like to grow up with an uncertain economic future, laments the shrinking upward mobility of the lower-middle class and pokes fun at his inability to enjoy sex. The dude sounds like what it would be like if Richard Russo picked up a used Squier Stratocaster instead of a typewriter.

RIYL: The Replacements – Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, Richard Russo – Empire Falls, doing the opposite of slow jerk