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Album reviews: The Gashers, Slow to Surface

The Gashers

Law is Not Order (SquidHat Records)

Thank God for straight-ahead punk. The debut album of recent SquidHat Records signees The Gashers reminds us of a tighter take on The Peccadilloes, the band from which The Gashers descended. Don’t expect a lot of intricacy here; 1-2-1-2 blasting punk beats are king. And while the pro-quality recording shines a lot of light on the actual chords and structure — compared to typically muddled DIY punk records — don’t listen to the album if you want to contemplate musicianship and lyrical complexity. Law is Not Order is just fun, crusty punk rock. (The Gashers play an album release show Aug. 10 at Double Down.) MAX PLENKE

Slow to Surface

Race the Heart, Calm the Soul (self-released)

It’s hard to say whether rock quintet Slow to Surface is nestled deep in its comfort zone or just resistant to musical changes that could suggest trend-following. To hear its fourth and latest EP is to survey the alternative and hard rock terrain of the 1990s, revealing influential hints from Pearl Jam to The Deftones — which is to say STS is being consistent. Just as reliable is its songwriting, which remains the band’s biggest offstage strength. “Secondhand Dopamine” (great title, guys) boasts an indelible chorus, and the midtempo “We’ll Figure It Out” ranks up there with STS’ best, a song with sentiments and evocation as genuine as the band performing it. (Slow to Surface plays a second EP release show Aug. 14 at Beauty Bar.) MIKE PREVATT