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In its initial run from 1976 to 1985, influential British indie label Stiff Records earned a reputation for having a unique and diverse roster, but it's often remembered best as the label that released the first ever punk single, 'New Rose' by The Damned. Its influence continues to be felt today, especially by bands looking to the early years of punk as a source of inspiration, and London trio Primitive Parts are one of those bands. Consisting of Male Bonding and Sauna Youth members Lindsay Corstorphine (vocals/guitar) Kevin Hendrick (guitar) and Robin Christian (drums), the band formed in 2012 with the idea of making fuss-free music that would sound like something released on Stiff Records had it existed in the '60s. It makes sense considering how crucial '60s garage-rock was in the development of pub (and later on) punk-rock, and on paper, it sounds like a pretty interesting idea.

Recorded over three days onto two 7" reels of quarter inch tape using a Tascam 388 multitrack tape machine, their debut album Parts Primitive is exactly the kind of album that you would expect from a project like this. The music is a compromise between the members' respective bands, merging the mentronomic art-punk of Sauna Youth with Male Bonding's hooked-filled fuzzed-out rock that often borders on modern power-pop. Though it delivers on its promise early on, it quickly (and disappointingly) settles into a comfortable and predictable routine. 'Rented Houses', 'Dust', and 'Being There' redress the snarky punk of Sauna Youth as mid-tempo garage numbers with brighter tuneful guitars and catchy vocal harmonies; 'Signal' and 'Ever Outward' venture into the realm of power-pop with those same harmonies (along with acoustic guitars) pushed to the forefront, while 'Troubles' and 'Eyes' take on the stoned repetition of bands like Parquet Courts.

What's curious about Parts Primitive is that for an album so invested in '60s garage rock--and one that was recorded in such a quick and deliberately crude manner--it fails to capture some of the urgency and restless spirit of the styles its built off of, with the production feeling surprisingly mannered and having a way of stifling the songs rather than giving them proper room to crackle and bristle. Music like this doesn't need to be fussy or intricate or all that detailed in order to be good or even that original, what it does need though is its own distinct personality, something Parts Primitive is lacking, and as a result, it winds up being just another pretty good punk album that doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.

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