When the Deep Elm press release said that this album was “classic”, I was a little bit skeptical. Sure, their last album “No Matter Where We Go” was one of the top ten albums released this year, but I assumed that it was created after a great deal of maturation by the band. No insult intended, but the music on “Turn Up The Punk” may just be a bit stronger than that found on the new album; both “My Dreams About Not Sleeping Until 3PM” and “He’s A Good Sposato” contain a confident energy that is mollified with the proper softness in vocals. In fact, the inclusion of clapping throughout “He’s A Good Sposato” is the perfect replacement for the traditional drums and give the track an earthy sound without it being necessarily bush-league.
When the band ratchets up their style to something more electric, a cohesive sound emerges that has as its nearest analogues Columbus’ Rise and Shine and Chicago’s Rise Against (the rise in both their names is purely intentional but explains the energy that Latterman exhibits on this album). There are some minor weaknesses evident during “Turn Up The Punk”, especially evident in the slightly cliché lead-ups that the guitars have during “Too Many Emo Days” (although this may just be a sarcastic nod to the title genre. Latterman really gets back into the saddle with “Rebellion Vs. The Alarm Clock”. This track may just be the most intense experience one can find on “Turn Up The Punk”. Aside from the incredibly complex bass lines found on the tracksm, the arrangements played by the rest of the band are dense like the oldest growth forests.
Well before the disc ends, there is a track that accurately conveys a sense of lost and closure in “King Tough Is My New Idol”. While there is still the quick tempo and strongly-sung lyrics, there is morose feeling that cannot be shaken throughout the entirety of the track. The idea with this discussion is that perhaps “King Tought” might have worked better if it was placed as the last track on the disc; as it is “83% Off Your Self-Esteem” really plays a nice “middle ground” role in putting forth a style that is a perfect blend of the intensity of the first half of the disc and the emotional weight of the second half. One thing that has stayed constant throughout the years is Latterman’s unfettered talent.
Top Tracks: 83% Off Your Self-Esteem, He’s A Good Sposato
Latterman – Turn Up The Punk, We’ll Be Singing / 2005 Deep Elm / 10 Tracks / http://www.lattermanband.com / http://www.deepelm.com / Reviewed 28 October 2005