Scratch - The Two Weeks EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: January 22, 2007
Remember Patent Pending’s album Save Each Other, the Whales Are Doing Fine from 2006? Scratch offers Pending’s familiar virile punk and hi-fi rock on their self-released The Two Weeks EP. The fivesome from Camillus, New York, a suburb of the college town Syracuse, were childhood friends who deliver beach party-fun punk with a SoCal ska vivaciousness. Band members Tom on vocals and guitar, Chris and Andy on guitar, Tom on vocals and bass guitar, and Mike on drums, show a zealous appetite for blazing guitar riffs, plumes of staggering drumbeats, thick masses of bass rivets, and vocals with lively chordal moves that hold their own against heavyweights like Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade and Tom Higgenson of Plain White T’s. The turbo-jet rhythms and power rock guitar spins have a likeness to Fat Wreck Chords’ The Loved Ones and Adeline Records’ The Living End. Scratch’s The Two Weeks EP has everything that the bands on the Warped Tour have, with the added bonus of being created by best friends.
From the start Scratch exemplify energetic punk rock with a triumphant swagger landscaping “One More Year Demo.” What’s not to like? They project flashy exhibitions in their tumultuous guitar dynamics and confidence in their tempo changes and rumbling rhythms. Though Scratch do not necessarily truck in anything that set them apart from the established clique of punk rockers like Strike Anywhere and ska-based punksters like Pennywise, they have a style that never gets tiring. The rush of beach party fun embalming tracks like “Ginger and the Retard“ and “15/20 Foresight“ has an energy level that gives punk rock a healthy dose of revival. The number “Good Morning Long Island” is the most appealing with the steely cadence of the guitar strings being rigorously strummed, minus effects and amplification, and vocals that pave their own rhythmic trails recalling the creative moves and emotive prowess of The Black Crowes’ lead singer Chris Robinson.
Scratch’s lyrical themes reflect all the subjects that matter most to college age adults centering on drinking, drooling over beautiful girls, and holding onto love. The song “One More Year Demo” is all about imbibing on liquor and women with phrases like, “I know it’s wrong, but it’s the way I am / I can’t help it if wine coolers make me feel cool / And pretty girls make my head spin / We spend all summer, but we couldn’t get things right / I know it’s sick, but deal with it / I’m remembering the time of my life.” Scratch’s lyrics are realistic, but they also can be naïve and wishful like in the song “Good Morning Long Island” with words like, “I’ve worn erasers down trying to think of words to hold the bridge / The perfect lines escape but I’m hoping if I write enough, one will stick / And the point will travel through the atmosphere / I wish your signals were this clear / Just a sign to let me know that you’re still over there… Sincerely, cross my heart and hope to see you soon.” With just the bare essentials of vocals and guitar creating the vibe for these words makes it an enchanting melody.
Scratch on the surface seem so similar to Patent Pending, but if this band digs deeper inside, they may find something more substantial that will let them outlast their predecessors.