by Kris Handel (@khandel84)
I’m Sorry Mom and Dad is the debut full length of Chicago four-piece FCKR JR, as well as the welcome return of former Geronimo! (RIP) bassist/keyboardist Ben Grigg. FCKR JR tread in the environment of emotional heft and reverb drenched guitar crunch with nimble rhythm section work and pillow-y melodies. In a span of less than twenty minutes FCKR JR manage to cover a wide range of musical space and do so with a sense of commitment that hits hard on every track. This release is a bit of a throwback to early-mid 90’s atmospheric guitar pop loosely reminiscent of bands like Swervedriver or Hum, yet clearly of the here and now.
“Frogs” starts the recording off with crunching and distorted guitars and a steady back beat before Grigg breaks through the fog during the forceful chorus. His lyrics outline anxieties and panic involved in self-doubt and working through internal problems before screaming off into a psych inflected guitar solo to bring the track to an end. “Pay the Piper” utilizes a nimble bass performance from Emily Bean and superbly wild drumming from Liz Bustamente that careens in and through everyone. Here everyone works within each other to deliver a harmonious bit of psych punk with appropriately shouted vocals through a drifting avalanche of noise. “The Good” starts off as a little bit of power-pop aided by sparkling and bending guitarwork as Grigg’s sprawling vocals give way to a charging ending aided with vocal help from his bandmates.
FCKR JR cover a bunch of ground with this record that carries a nervous energy and raucous performances on each track and maximizes its short run time. Grigg and company know how to work with each other and that serves everything here extremely well. There is a connection in every note and turn at hand. This record is worth exploring on every level and truly enjoyable to hear a band that clearly enjoy taking the time to work on their craft and not take themselves too seriously. The playfulness here is readily abundant with a self-deprecation that masks a clear sense of confidence in everything that is laid before the audience, and it’s well-earned based on the evidence at hand.