7" Review: Retainers, "Waste of Time"

Even played at a low volume on your stereo, this will be among the loudest records you own. When somebody tells you the Hives are a garage band, sit them down and play "Waste of Time" instead. Then, pour a couple of Grain Belts, sit back, and watch the rock'n'roll take effect.

The Retainers play old school, hearing aid-inducing rock with fuzzy, garage guitars and energetic howls over the top. "Waste of Time" and "Die Baby Die" may be short, but two minutes is probably all the band can handle without cardiac arrest.

The Retainers play the kind of reverb-drenched, sped up garage that made Scared of Chaka so special. Taking punk aggression and applying it to old model rock, they make it louder, sloppier, and angrier, but reliant on unique guitars and varied bass instead of a steady diet of power chords and basic rhthyms. As much as the screaming vocals and noisy guitars catch attention, the Retainers are held together by their rhythym section, with Eli Hansen's cymbal-heavy pounding keeping the mania in form. It's manic, yet contained, and "Waste of Time" is a worthy slice of abrasive rock to add to any collection.