It’s hard to ignore that the Basic Practicalities are in high school. But with the contagious pop punk lines on the first track, “Little Friend (the Coffee Song)” or the psychedelic guitar soloing in “Wasting Time,” or drummer Lela Bayless’ amazingly creative lyrics in “My Mind,” the age aspect only makes one think: If they’re this good now, what next? To be honest, this isn’t a tight album. It’s sloppy and has moments of falling apart. But if Green Day or Jawbreaker or any band that played punk rock at small Missoula venues in the early 1990s played only refined music, we would have stopped listening. The Basic Practicalities embody lo-fi deliciousness and high-energy infectiousness. “Broken People” simmers in cathedral-like, ethereal vocals, wonderfully scorched by the heavy metal riff of guitar. Both the electric and acoustic versions of “Unusual” exhibit Bayless’ sturdy songwriting with dark and playful lines like, “It’s unusual to talk to puffins, it’s unusual to break eggs with muffins. It’s unusual to mope in a dryer, it’s unusual to light things on fire!” Though they ride the line between angst and kookiness, what The Basic Practicalities prove is they’ve got some of the most astonishing writing chops in town.
The Basic Practicalities play their CD release party at the Crystal Theater with the Knockoffs, Best Boy Electric, Tree Noise, Voracious Appetite and The Racquet. Wednesday, June 11, 6 PM. $6.