The Specifics have played live during my shows a number of times, but most the time, have had extra-band incidents sully their sound. For example, we had to rush their set during an early-summer set, and towards the end of the summer the acoustics in one of our venues didn’t work too well with the band. Here is the band, mixed and mastered by themselves, sounding as amazing as they possibly could be at the time. Starting with the guitar of the first track, “Accomplishments”, The Specifics show themselves off to be a very hard-hitting, catchy, and all-around cohesive and coherent bands that will kick down any walls holding them back. The extra vocals laid down on the first track by Blake and the rockabilly-influenced tracks (think John Doe) created by Vug throws the track at about a hundred miles across the finish line, even with the tremendous slowdown at the end of the track. “Made of Stone” enters the fray with an intricate drum line and an atonal set of vocals contributed by Vug. In opposition to the prior track, “Made of Stone’s” infectious quality only goes to fruition during the chorus. The entire EP has a very old, UK82 feel to it that belies the fact that this music is as new as one can get, with literally only months from creation to contribution on disc.
Vug’s Rotten-like sneer during “Made of Stone” shows a minor move away from the Screeching Weasel-tinged sound of the first track, and Diana’s bass line provides the perfect chiaroscuro with the ska up-riff of “Answers”. The omnipresence of the bass line during this track just furthers the band’s ful sound, if the guitars sound a little hollow on this track. The compressed distortion of the guitar sounds a little too forced, as well as Blake seeming slightly off-time during the “Go” interjection found on the disc. Both issues are almost too minor to mention, as The Specifics find themselves time and time again to be head and shoulders above the rest of the music coming out from the area.
“Concept of Control” is the final “official” track on the disc, and recalls the catchy nature of “Accomplishments” and wonderful drum/guitar interplay that is explored at length between Blake and Vug. The dual-harmonies found throughout this disc are drilled into the listeners head, but I personally wonder if The Specifics’ general sound might not be enhanced by all three individuals joining in on the chorus, providing an Operation: Cliff Clavin or Defiance, Ohio style of vocals. The secret track, a Misfits cover, shows Vug successfully capturing the evil-Elvis intensity of Glenn Danzig and Blake’s perfect recreation of the “whoa-oh-oh” from the original. Here’s to hearing more from this band, one of the more innovative to ever be hatched out of the Central Ohio scene.
Top Track: Accomplishments