Album of the Week: Permit’s “Vol. 1”

December 2, 2016 • Music

Holy hell, friends — who knew blustery punk rock mixed with frenetic classic rock swagger come out of little ‘ol Bloomington, Indiana? If you like loud yet melodic music that conjures up that old-fashioned scratchy, muffled vinyl or slightly garbled cassette tape, Permit will be your new favorite band. Drew Auscherman of Hoops and Jack Andrew produce hard-charging, luxuriantly effortless magic with  one guitar, one drum set,  two microphones, and a bunch of red-lining audio equipment that sounds defiantly analog in nature. This is music equally at home soundtracking Dazed & Confused (dare ya not to think of the ’70s when you hear “Track #4”) or pouring forth from the basement of your favorite local anarcho-vegan punk house.

The best modern precedent we can think of is Savoy Motel, fellow power-pop/glam-rock ride or die-ers who mix straight-up revivalism with jaw-dropping singularity. In Savoy’s case, they achieve that by slowing down the choogle of classic rock; in Permit’s case, they frickin’ floor it — not a single track on  debut EP Vol. 1 tops two minutes, and most of the generically named songs (“Track #1,” “Track #2,” and so on) hurtle ahead at seemingly inhuman warp speed (Auscherman and Andrew describe it as “Thin Lizzy, but twice as fast”). “Track #3” gets sludged up a bit, conjuring up the early work of ’80s indie rock heroes like Dinosaur Jr. And man, Permit’s guitars singe and burn with similar ferocity.

Right now this little band that damn sure could has no tour dates announced — and let’s face it, with a name like Permit, they’re pretty much near Google-proof. Obviously that cloak of anonymity is something Auscherman and Andrew take seriously. But this is the same streamlined two-person drums-and-guitar format that birthed the arena-conquering mainstream success of bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys that started out bashing the hell out of their instruments and making an unholy noise. The fact that Vol. 1 was released on December 2nd with support from esteemed Southern label Fat Possum is damn promising. But Permit’s got potential — and whatever we can do to get you gentlemen on the road, you let us know. We need to feel the impact of your sizzling sonic gut-punch in person.

Bloomington, Indiana's, Permit

Bloomington, Indiana’s, Permit

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