Down-and-dirty rock and roll served with a side of gutter-punk edge isn’t very fashionable these days, what with all the kids and their electro-pop EDM projects or whatever. Still, that very lack of hipness gives the scuffed-up genre its timeless appeal and surprising longevity. As long as there are grizzled dudes (and gals) listening to bands like The Stooges and The Cramps, guzzling down cheap beer at dingy bars and clubs, and pounding away on beat-up guitars on the weekends, rock and roll will live on. Fuck yeah.
In Milwaukee, few bands know this better than The Hullmen. The no-nonsense outfit has been plugging away since 2008, releasing a slew of agreeably sleazy records like 2010’s Here Come The Hullmen, and haunting a slew of agreeably sleazy local venues like Circle-A and Kochanski’s. Now, the veteran band is preparing to release its latest creation, Expensive Taste. Engineered by MKE Punk’s Martin Defatte and mastered by Mystery Room’s Justin Perkins, the record is undoubtedly a product of The Hullmen—dig the sleazy chug of “Wasted Breath” and the ascending shouts of “Parasite Lost”—but it’s also a remarkably polished and relatively slick effort. Far removed from the home-recorded din of the band’s earlier albums, Expensive Taste offers up plenty of cheap thrills while still living up to its name.