Pitchfork (Website) - "The players' physical exertion is palpable:drummer Tom Casling punctuates white-knuckled eighth-notes with frantic cymbal strikes..."
Audio Mixer: Mike Lust.
On their self-titled debut, Negative Scanner prove themselves to be a good deal rawer than many of the bands resuscitating post-punk in the 2010s -- which isn't that surprising given vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Valeriano-Flores and drummer Tom Cassling's time with combustive Chicago garage punks Tyler Jon Tyler. As with their previous band, Negative Scanner quickly earned a reputation for being a commanding live act, and it's easy to hear how these songs would explode in concert. Even more so than with Tyler Jon Tyler, Flores' voice is the focal point, whether she's leaping from a growl to a wail on "Ivy League Asshole" or delivering Jello Biafra-like levels of vibrato on "Criticism." The band recorded Negative Scanner in their practice space (with Chicago punk vet Mike Lust engineering and Mikey Young of Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring mastering the sessions), which only adds to the sheer energy of tracks like the grinding "Planet of Slums." However, Negative Scanner are at their finest when they add a little more nuance and melody to their attack: "Saturday Night & Sunday Morning" reaffirms how much post-punk suits Flores' vocals, while "Fan vs. Wild"'s haunting mix of love and anger remains their best song yet. Songs such as these and "Would You Rather" and "Forget It" suggest that as ferocious as Negative Scanner are here, they've got a lot more to offer. ~ Heather Phares