Chill Parents, Two Strangers (Self-Released, 2021)

The bumbling, titular character of King of the Hill once posited “Why would anyone do drugs when they can just mow a lawn instead?” Swap out said landscaping with listening to the altered state that is the Chill Parents discography and you might be onto something.

Between gushing about their superlative 2020 summer smash n’ grab At the Barricades LP and their latest EP, Two Strangers, these lovable wild ones released “Rusty.” Ostensibly an impromptu jam, it was a proper mindfuck that toured through their considerable influences and stitched it all together with quotes sampled from the underrated and transgressive folks of fictional  Arlen, TX.

In the name of doing whatever the fuck they want, the Capital city crüe continue their chokehold on uncategorizable punk across this two track dazzler. If all of this reads a little busy and marble mouthed, it’s fitting because the DC punks manage to cram their songs to the brim with ripping hardcore punk, sneery OG pop-punk, unexpectedly successful detours, and jangling oddities.

It’s Chill Parents' seeming disdain for proper song structure that makes it so fucking appealing, to be honest, and in turn what gives the songs such a singular personality. Let’s get it… 

To these ears, A-side “Little Brother” is the band operating at the absolute peak of their powers. They walk well the line so famously stepped by the mighty D4, teetering between ragged, East Bay pop-punk and early USHC.

In my attempt to be the first review not to mention that oft-referenced San Pedro label, I must still say it sounds like the rousing and rambunctious highlight of a Terminal Island backyard show. The song’s relentless backbeat churns relentlessly with a bratty and literate sensibility akin to Tiltwheel, Grabass Charlestons, or the mighty Tenement. The end soars and swirls triumphantly in the way that only bands that are friends first can pull off.

Rare is the band with the chemistry required to sound both off the rails and simultaneously locked, but Chill Parents live in that precise sweet spot. Living somewhere outside the boundaries of strict subgenre, the band’s unique zip code isn’t densely populated with contemporaries. 

Not sure if flipside “A Hole Called Love” intends to name check Celebrity Skin-era Courtney, but that matters not. What does matter is that this is a note perfect mid-paced banger, decked out in a ramshackle wistfulness and sloppily joyous backing vocals. I get The Underground Railroad to Candyland vibes which, if you know me, is some godhead type shit.

I hear bits of the unheralded Onion Flavored Rings, Dan Padilla, and Rumspringer. You’ve had ample time to sidle up to the world’s most relaxed guardians or, uhhhhh, Chill Parents. Can’t wait to see this band live. Shit rules.

Their bio reads “DC punk band. Fuck 12. Abolish Ice," but you also have endless booze soaked tunes to go along with it. Pop this on at the cookout. You’re welcome. 

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