CD Review: Girl Guts, Caparza, Ol’ Doris, Death by Steamship

Girl Guts, Caparza, Ol’ Doris, Death by Steamship
I-5 Series, Volume One
Whoa! Boat Records

Volume One of the 1-5 Series, released by Whoa! Boat Records, documents the ties that bind Bellingham and its larger sibling that resides 90 miles to the south. Side A, “Bellingham,” features Girl Guts and Caparza, and Side B, “Seattle,” features Ol’ Doris and Death By Steamship. But do not be deceived, this pop-punk noise fest isn’t about rivalry between cities. It isn’t about big versus small, or favorite versus underdog, or even Sub Pop versus Estrus. No, this is about love between scenes. And being friends.
Girl Guts’s offering, “Respect Your Elders,” is the noisiest cut of the bunch. It is an unhinged, driving song, marked by a riffy guitar that harkens back to the garage rock that characterized the early days of the 3B Tavern. Gutteral (no pun intended) vocals cut through to the top of the mix, a trend followed by the other three tracks on the 7”. All of the songs, with the exception of Ol’ Doris’s “Waste of Space,” were recorded in Bellingham by Caparza’s Jeremy Magner. He left the perfect amount of grime in and applied just enough polish during production.
Though Death By Steamship is on Team Seattle, their contribution is a love song penned for one of the most beloved house venues in Bellingham. “The Wisco” represents the sentiment held throughout Volume One of the I-5 series. Bands, no matter where along the 1-5 corridor they come from, just want to put on shows and be among friends, because that’s what really matters. “There’ll be no stupid macho fights/Not tonight.”

-Nick Thacker