Personnel: Jessica Boudreaux (vocals, guitar); Marc Swart (guitar, background vocals); Devon Shirley (drums); Jenny Logan (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Chris Woodhouse.
Recording information: The Dock.
Portland rockers Summer Cannibals step up their game on Full of It, their label debut for Kill Rock Stars. A solid pair of self-released LPs and countless touring miles have earned them plenty of respect in the Northwest and beyond, and they make the most of their heightened exposure by delivering their tightest outing yet. Led by singer/guitarist Jessica Boudreaux, the group sports a streamlined new sound courtesy of both producer Chris Woodhouse (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees) and a retooled lineup that features bassist Jenny Logan and drummer Devon Shirley alongside longtime guitar man Marc Swart. There are certainly elements of fuzzy garage pop in Summer Cannibals' sound, but that seems too convenient a label. Boudreaux's defiant punk snarl and the band's nimble but explosive riff rock seem appropriate for a band named after a Patti Smith song. Hard-charging opener "Go Home" ripples with mean muscle and attitude and the title cut is just as ferocious with its driving, circular riff and Boudreaux's dynamic vocals. Another mid-album highlight, "The Lover" blends tuneful melodies with tough, stacked guitar leads and grungy breakdowns. The performances are loose and spiky enough to presume they were cut live, but Woodhouse's beefy production dials in the hairy parts better than on either of their two previous efforts. There is a sort of regional essence to Summer Cannibals' sound here that carries on the legacy of Northwest punks like Wipers, Dead Moon, and any number of the area's other defiant independents, many of whom also called Kill Rock Stars home. ~ Timothy Monger