There was a song on the Razorbumps demo called "Do You Want to get High?" or something. Basically vocalist Jenn screamed asking whether you wanted to get high while a punky garage band ripped. It was crude, simple, and brilliant. Released on the band's own Sarcophagus Club label, the song and the rest of the demo had just the right amount of pop punk, snark and melody.
Now the Denton, Texas band are set to release Hellrazors, a new album on Pop Wig (home to Turnstile, Bib, Bugg and Firewalker). Following the track “Go With the Flow”, today they release "3 in a Row" that sees them continue their jerky punk attack.
They launch the record later this month in the basement of J&J’s Pizza, a Denton establishment that as well as serving decent slices, hosts gigs in the recently reopened downstairs known as the Ol' Dirty Basement.
Before the launch we sent Jenn some questions to find out more.
Noisey: Is “3 in a Row” about the 1996–1998 Chicago Bulls?
Jenn Smith: It’s about what goes through my head during a game of tic-tac-toe. I wouldn’t be opposed to a compilation of the star dunks from the Bulls' Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman lineup with this song behind it.
Your launch is in the basement of J&J’s Pizza. How important has the reopening of this show space been to the Denton scene?
Very important. It’s located on The Square, an historical part of Denton that also houses Mad World Records and Recycled Books & Records, both pertinent music resource spots for kids that have moved here for college. As we all know, a venue/house that hosts shows (including all ages) of all genres at no cost to bands becomes the DIY booking go-to. When that's gone, booking a show and knowing that kids under 18 can’t attend, or risking your house for its first/last show ever can be pretty upsetting, especially when the cops shut it down or the venue stops wanting to host punks.
I’m betting everyone in Denton bands has a story about one of their favorite bands that played at J&J’s Pizza’s basement. With it restored and back in action, it's a big motivation for people to start bands and book shows themselves! We're so grateful to know that the owners care about continuing the history of, not only their venue but, of the DIY music scene here as well!
Wiccans, one of the best punk bands in the US, are also playing your launch. How important have they been to the Denton scene?
Wiccans is one of the most inspirational bands here because they are all so good at what they do. They’ve also all separately been in bands of many different genres, and stayed involved in DIY shows all over Texas and OKC. The inspiration that Wiccans has provided to the young people of Denton and this entire state is vast and ongoing. Those who haven't seen Wiccans, been to J&J’s basement, or seen Dress Code in a basement are in for a wild ride.
I’ve seen DEVO mentioned when describing your sound and while I love them, I’m not 100% sold on the comparison. What are your thoughts?
DEVO is the only mainstream comparison people can make without sounding like a dork by listing off all 50 bands that inspired our songs. People also can’t always identify the sounds going on until they see us live and see that we don’t have an organ player on stage… or do we?
To confirm that sale to you of us sounding like DEVO is not the goal, its to make it your job to keep wondering and to keep discovering new music. Our influences can only reveal themselves by the listeners in due time.
Was Sarcophagus Club a vanity label to release the demo or do you have other releases in the works?
Sarcophagus Club is mainly me trying to put out demos for my friends when I can. Razorbumps was an experiment to see what I was capable of as far as online orders and designing the tape layout and all that jazz. The original idea behind Sarcophagus Club was a collective of music, art, zines, booking, etc. At this point its mainly a tape label with some video collaborations here and there. We recently put out tapes for Contact Grid, Ritual Order, and Echo Spring all here in Denton! More recently, The United Races (Houston) promo tape, Temple of Angels demo (Austin), Cupid demo (Houston), and we may have a couple of demo tapes released before this summer!
'Hellrazors' is available Jan 12 on Pop Wig.
Razorbumps launch Hellrazors Jan 27 at J&J’s basement with with Wiccans, Dress Code, Private Eye, Little Fish, and The Lung.
For more music like Razorbumps stream Tim’s punk radio show Teenage Hate.