Seltzers, Don't Touch Me (RTF Records, 2021)

The recent proliferation of canned highball is an odd one, especially for us non-drinkers.

of all of them, hopoever, comes courtesy of New England pop-punk Seltzers. Fittingly, I’d imagine some hard, sparkling booze would be the perfect bedfellow for their recent sonic 4-pack.

Don’t Touch Me, the band’s brand new EP comes courtesy of RTF Records (Ride the Fury), whose release slate is a fan better investment than a grip of White Claws. 

Even the most well-informed punk gumshoe would be unlikely to trace the sterling bonafides, as the band is composed of and ex-member of hard hitters Product of Waste and Colin of Arabia. That’s right, y’all. You read that correctly... the “band” in question is the brainchild and project of but one person (Mickey).

Still clearly informed by that same DIY ethos, Seltzers instead peddle a brand of pop-punk for those inclined to the gravel-throated, ramshackle variety. It may slide down your gullet a bit more smoothly, but watch out for shards of glass. This shit packs a bite. 

The titular track and opener gives off greasy FYP vibes and splits the difference between Gainesville and the '90s Bay Area sound. It’s best trick is that it comes across with deceptively simple structures, but look no further than the phased-out power pop guitar solo to spy a (one-person) band in total and equal command of each instrument.

There’s a live vibe to the proceedings, incorporating everything from “band” chatter to a between song bleed of feedback that bridges songs together. 

The cheeky nod to Black Flag of “Thirty and Miserable” is exceedingly fun. The bass-led attack quickly devolves into a chunky and powerful riff that nods at both Dillinger Four and the underrated roster of A.D.D. Records.

If you look closely, you’re still likely to peek the hardcore roots. This ode to aging (dis)gracefully in the grips of apathy and obligation is THE textbook entry for bummer punk. 

Elsewhere, “A.S.S.H.O.L.E.”  find Seltzers hitching a ride to 53rd and 3rd. It’s easy to trace the throughline from every great band of leather clad pop-punk traditionalists that took inspiration from the Ramones. Perhaps it’s again due to Mickey’s varied resume, but Seltzers bring an added dash of muscle and gnashed teeth.

Closer “I Don’t Wanna Get Stabbed (In Worcester)” is an absolute blast. Intentionally repetitive and urgent, it’s the sort of 4/4 boneheaded thrust that makes The Spits on of the greatest bands of all time. As it hurtles to its close, killer backing vocals add the perfect touch of heft to a hyper melodic template.

Slurp it up, fucko. 

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Tagged: seltzers