Without absurdity, life would be dull. Confined to the mundane and expected, we’d all wind up wearing the same shade of blue and agreeing that Birkenstock rock is pretty good. Where’s the fun in that? I dare you to find it, because it will be buried under tall piles of shit. So if a band comes up with a concept for an album, or even their band name based off of a comedy sketch from two decades ago … why not I ask you? The Eradicator is a four-minute sketch from Kids in the Hall, in which a man is devoted to sport. Not all of them, just squash. The character aims to reign king in his local league, living, breathing and (literally) sleeping on the courts. He wears an old school burglar-style ski mask to preserve identity and serves squash balls customized with skulls. He’s very serious, and no one else seems to care.
Similarly, the punk rock version of The Eradicator is occasionally an aggressively sporty one-man battle, often backed by a revolving band. It’s always a serious endeavor, however. The twelve tracks of this eponymous LP unify to one the sport. As lead single “I’m a Squash Man” declares in aggressive complexity, “football sucks, tennis sucks, baseball’s cool, curling rules … but they’re not the sports for me, they’re not my cup of tea.” Hearing this man bark out his admiration for one the game is wildly convincing. With a classically Midwest punk tempo, their angry songs push along at a feverish pace. They’re the kind of songs that would work well between fellow baklava wearers such as Masked Intruder and The Dwarves (Are Young and Good Looking era). Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves is a Chicago native, and with Masked Intruder neighbor up in Madison, they’re basically in a Chicago borough as well. Why do bands of this area love about hidden identity?
It’s not breaking any molds, but they do infuse tracks with electronic synth bits. With these pieces and all the aggro, they’re like a not-so-serious Refused. Okay, that’s a leap as they bridge together tracks via cowbell. To once again quote the band, “I’m not a simple man, but I enjoy the simple things in life.” It’s absurd music that makes a lil’ gigglin’ happen—and it actually has a lot of good beats for repeat listening as well. The Eradicator is an album to be proud of. Don’t hide your faces Eradicator, you’re already champions in this reviewer’s eyes. You keep bein’ you.