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Hank IV 

Refuge in Genre (Siltbreeze)

Wednesday, Oct 8 2008
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After debuting two years back with Third Person Shooter, rugged locals Hank IV have landed on the resurrected Philly label Siltbreeze, whose well-documented appetite for noise-rock — from the Dead C and Harry Pussy to next-generation singings Times New Viking and Eat Skull — fits our boys like a booze-soaked glove. Produced by the Fucking Champs' Tim Green, Refuge in Genre finds the five-piece thrashing about in punk-bred bar-band mode. Bob McDonald's sore-throat shouting gets help from guitarist Anthony Bebard to hit the more insistent lyrics, even when the subject is something as mundane as outlet shopping ("Feeding Me Back"). Such cheekiness is par for the course with this band. Another example of Hank IV's glorious piss-taking, of course, is its name, which has nothing to do with Hank Williams or his progeny. Proper sonic analogs would be Mission of Burma and Mudhoney — both of which Hank IV has played with — not to mention a slew of more obscure punk and post-punk acts. From the 82-second blast "Celebrity Virgin" to the growling single "Dirty Poncho," Refuge in Genre covers a lot of ground without slowing down. The only change in pacing is the moody instrumental "Sorry 'Bout the Boat Race," and even that sounds pretty damn cool.

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Doug Wallen

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