After a head warping intro "Men And Their Work" kicks into eight driving postpunk rockers full of angst, confidence, feminism, melody, grit and a sense of direction not commonly found in a debut album. Shit, most seasoned bands don't even make albums this coherent. It's a smart moniker as ALL HITS certainly lives up to the promise. There is a 60/40 split of familiar comfort and provocative mystery inherent in every song. You get shouted sloganeering backed with barbed melody and finessed power-ups massaged into the sweetest spots. We can't put our finger on exactly what it is that makes this record so special but whatever it is there is a lot of it. Destined to be a modern classic. Destined to be a modern classic. So much so, that Rough Trade has deemed it their "Record of the Week" for June 26th. Lovely.
Our take: Well, this rules. Iron Lung once again surprises me with a release by a band I knew nothing about, yet is better than at least 90% of the bands I know about. All Hits is from Portland, and they sound like Crisis and Bikini Kill had an unlikely baby. Their sound is bass-driven (like a lot of anarcho punk) and the lyrics aren’t afraid of sloganeering (also like a lot of anarcho punk), but All Hits makes frequent detours into more melodic directions. Take a track like “Sugar Supply,” which goes from a driving, Gang-of-Four-on-speed verse into a bright, melodic chorus that wouldn’t have been out of place on Lookout! Records. All Hits also pepper Men and Their Work with punkers like “Don’t Wanna” and “World Is a Fuck,” either of which could have been a standout Raw Records single if a bunch of dudes had written it in the UK in 1978. A less talented band would sound scattered making transitions like these, but All Hits nails it, confidently claiming this quirky mix as their signature. I love that this came out on Iron Lung, but Men and Their Work is so lively and so infectious that I could see All Hits getting huge, not because they sound is palatable or watered down, but just because they’re that good.