2015’s quick succession of two full-length albums by Austin, TX, trio Spray Paint—Punters on a Barge in June on Australia’s Homeless Records followed by Dopers via Austin’s Monofonus Press—showed the band repeatedly visiting some proverbial “next level” relative to the steady developmental trajectory framed by their preceding 2012-2014 arrival-and-vision-quest phase (itself a three-album, three-7-inch chunk of catalog not appropriate for dismissal). At the risk of corniness in conveying the sterling truth, Feel the Clamps could be considered to represent drummer Chris Stephenson, guitarist Cory Plump and other guitarist George Dishner arriving at a “next level,” but next after what? They appear to have skipped a few.
It would be inaccurate to call Feel the Clamps the band’s “definitive” document because it only “defines” where the band is at this stage, and the impressive distance between right now and the trio’s genesis less than five years ago. Spray Paint is hyper-prolific because these guys have something that needs to stay up in the world’s grill. A rapid-fire output is sometimes confused with “worth a shit.” You know why the world is choked with aggressively mediocre music? Because the aggressively mediocre are really, really prolific and have amazing work ethics. But Spray Paint is no relation to the stylistic transients who couch-surf sub-genres in what should be a new movement tagged “try-too-hardcore.” Their linear path of inspiration suggests there won’t even be a language to describe what the trio is making five years from now. Feel the Clamps will clear the fence of any remaining solitary butts and if not, it’s recommended said body part be checked for its owner’s head.