The Shondes totally knocked my socks off from the jump. Shondes (Yiddish) means “outrage,” and it summarizes their pro-gay, antiauthoritarian, self-proclaimed “queercore” punk. But unlike grrrritty bands before them, The Shondes add strings and soaring melodies to their sound, adding substance and bottom beyond a simple, thumping bass. But what about the riffs, you ask? The fucking riffs? No punk song is worth a damn without a solid hook, and The Shondes deliver on this count as well. Check out the chorus on Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (not a 50s girl group cover), and see for yourself. Other songs, like Winter, go through complex speed and chord changes that make it virtually impossible to tap your toes to . . . Or ignore. Then there’s the call-and-response “Let’s Go,” which as far as I’m concerned should start the set at their live shows. I could go on and on. I can’t express to you how much I’m loving this record. It gets this corner’s highest recommendation.
For fans of: Anything from Fugazi to Hole, passing through Sleater Kinney and old Breeders, and making pit stops at dive bars and S&M dungeons.