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Gas Huffer
The Rest Of Us

With a smattering of musical styles from punk to country to blues, the latest full-length record from Gas Huffer captures the spirit of Northwest rock 'n' roll perfectly.

Longstanding staples of the NW underground music scene, the Seattle punk-rock foursome incorporates everything from punk's speedy two-beat drumming and sludgy grunge-fed playing to rockabilly guitar licks and jazzy, finger-snapping rhythms. Produced by renowned NW engineer Jack Endino, The Rest of Us, the band's sixth album, recalls a take on music the great Pacific is known for: a muddy mix of dirty rock, an open mind, and songwriting that spreads itself liberally across multiple genres.

The album evokes nostalgia for the days before grunge exploded, before the media's glaring spotlight shone down on the emerald city following the release of Nirvana's Nevermind. The Rest of Us sends you back to a burgeoning, buzz-filled time when a number of Portland and Seattle post-punk-rock acts could be seen at the local dive club for five bucks, without the industry hype and masses of fans. Gas Huffer maintain a sense of loyalty to their homestead '90s-era roots, but also, dodging any tendencies to repeat what's been done, offer fresh songs that are catchy, raw and hip-shaking fun.

Opening with the gritty, hard-rockin' title track, the 14-song record ventures from classic to punk to psychedelic without losing the listener, letting the small ride from the various influences feel natural. "Ghost in the Lighthouse" reminds me of a Pixies song with its droning vocals and galloping melodies, while "Lexington Nightlife" might be the most infectious and fun for the danceable Chuck Berry-like guitar line and cool-cat jazzy beats. With impassioned singing, reflective lyricism and dreamy soundscapes, "The Day the Bottom Fell Out" stands out as the slowest, most emotive track.

The Rest of Us may not elevate the listener to ecstasy or shock the world with a new, of-the-moment sound. But, encompassing the essence of the NW scene's rock history at its best, it will please its audience while making us natives proud.

by Jenny Tatone

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