Erase Errata looked like they could have been a brightly colored flash in the pan in the early 2000s. Between 2001 and 2003, the Bay Area band toured consistently and released a slew of well-regarded singles and splits as well as two full albums, Other Animals and At Crystal Palace. Since the twitchy dancefloor “post-riot-grrrl” sound they specialized in was on the ascent at the time, there was a lot of hype, which brings with it naysayers and trendwatchers. With founding guitarist Sara Jaffe’s departure in 2004, the band took a couple of years to regroup, finally solidifying into trio form for 2006’s relatively under-the-radar LP Nightlife. On Lost Weekend, their first LP in nearly a decade and their first offering since 2010’s “Damaged” single, they take a measured, deliberate approach, an acknowledgment of space and patience.
Lost Weekend is a short record, but it doesn’t feel rushed and it never feels labored. Erase Errata haven’t lost their ability as songwriters, the smart tack they developed over their discography of winding unexpected texture around sparse, jagged rhythmic structure. I hear bits of sonic reference to some underrated and unexpected post-punk predecessors here—Bush Tetras, Disco Inferno, Moonshake—but Erase Errata have eked out their own space here, grown into their own legacy.
“In Death I Suffer”, one of the album’s standouts, roils and rumbles its catchy rhythm over a chilly expanse of synth noise, out of which blooms a surprisingly hooky chorus. Guitarist Jenny Hoyston’s voice has become more understated over the years, and when she intones “They came from all sides—all sides,” it is one of those prickly-neck moments I didn’t need to fully understand intellectually in order to respond to.
Lest anyone think Lost Weekend is all clouds and ice and gloom, the opening track, “History of Handclaps”, is a sly, self-deprecating look back at the indie dancefloor culture in which Erase Errata found their voice and early fame, a scene where syncopated (and sometimes synthesized) handclaps became ubiquitous. The disco claps here are buried in the mix, only surfacing during the breakout chorus; the song is mainly propelled by Bianca Sparta’s nearly unbearably precise drumming and Ellie Erickson’s curdling bass. This is a band that has never forgotten the main tenet of post-punk: the genre is nothing if it doesn’t place most of its strength in its rhythm section. “History of Handclaps” isn’t snide, though—in its tracing of the sonic trend both lyrically and musically, it acknowledges both the overuse and humanity of the handclap through rock’n’roll, soul, disco, and punk.
“Watch Your Language” kicks and shudders, built around a blues riff; it’s a claustrophobic and intimate look at information-age communication (it also features a particularly judicious use of the flat, splattery sound of analog synths.) “Galveston, Dark Tides” might be the closest thing to a straightforward pop song Erase Errata have ever done. They’ve learned when to hustle and when to lay back, and Lost Weekend is a good marker that if Erase Errata wants, they could have a career as long and as consistent as a band like the Ex (who have had said kind things about Erase Errata), post-punk stalwarts who are over 30 years old at this point and over 20 albums deep. This band is leaning into their stride, picking up the wind, challenging all those flash-in-the-pan expectations from over a decade ago with solid work.
from Album Reviews – Pitchfork http://ift.tt/1sXnoQi