by Daniel Hill
Doom Town, St. Louis' premiere ambassador of punk to lands abroad, have recently made available two songs from its newly-released cassette demo, entitled Sleep. The first track, "Rat Says", is a straight up jammer, uptempo and hauntingly catchy, especially when the backup vocals come in at around the 45 second mark. The second, entitled "Sleep", carries on in similar manner, but includes some excellent lead guitar lines that add an interesting technicality to the mix. According to drummer Shaun Morrissey, all of the songs for the tape were recorded in the same session as the band's tracks from the Tower Groove Records compilation, and the band put them out in tape form to support some weekend out-of-town trips. Also according to Morrissey, "I don't really remember. I'll just make something up. I'm a drummer; nothing I say is reliable." Both online tracks are available in streaming form below.
Doom Town was recently named the winner of a 2012 RFT Music Award for Best Punk Band. It was not the first time and as long as the band keeps churning out gems like those featured in this article, it certainly won't be the last. When voting was still open for this year's awards, RFT Music writer Mike Appelstein had this to say:
It's been a busy few months for Doom Town. In December, the quartet released a seven-inch single on New Dark Age and embarked on a three-week European tour. By all accounts, the trip was a success, with new fans made, much German beer consumed and offbeat sightseeing done (including a Ramones Museum apparently endorsed by Johnny himself). The trip seems to have given Doom Town's sharp sound an extra edge; Ben Smith and Ashley Hohman sing/shout/harmonize like a traumatized John and Exene, while drummer Shaun Morrissey (of the Humanoids) proves himself one of the city's hardest hitters. See 'em before they decide it's much more lucrative and rewarding to just play abroad.
The European tour to which that paragraph refers was the subject of a feature-length interview, also conducted by Appelstein, back in May of this year. A tour journal was (mostly) kept for the trip, written by guitarist / vocalist Ben Smith. The (highly entertaining) entries, which peter out at the twelve day mark (Hey, have you ever tried to write a tour journal? It ain't easy to drink as much as touring necessitates AND keep track of stuff that happens. Twelve days is impressive!) can be found here here here here and here.