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Sass – Chew Toy (MPLS Ltd)

Sass-Chew Toy
21 June 2020

Originally released as a limited edition cassette in May 2019 by Heavy Meadow Records, the debut full-length by this youthful Minneapolis noise-rock quintet, named one of Stereogum’s “Best New Bands of 2019,” gets a welcome vinyl issue from MPLS Ltd. Behind the intricately picked and thrashing guitars of Stephanie Jo Murck and Willem Vander Ark, and the agile, constantly shifting rhythms of Alex McCormick and Joey Hays, Sass combines minimalist, Fire Engines/Josef K/Oh-OK jagged post-punk with clamorous, Pixies/Dinosaur Jr./Breeders grunge-pop. Meanwhile, Murck’s vocals are beguiling, edgy, and anxious, blending Tanya Donelly, Juliana Hatfield, Kim Deal, Rose Melberg, and Oh-OK’s Linda Hopper. And her soul-baring lyrics, told from a disillusioned yet grounded Gen Z woman’s perspective, make Sass’s pointed jams – especially the succulent, sweeping title track, which describes a corrosive, demeaning relationship, and sinuous powderkegs “Role Model” and “Spoiled By Rotten,” each confronting depression and social isolation – feel determined and relatable. (,