"What to do when you're trapped in a machine?" Jenny Hoysten asks on Erase Errata's Nightlife. It's not the first time a musician has expressed concern with this country's scary political climate, but few contemporary artists match the intelligence and blatant intensity with which this San Francisco trio turns its disillusionment into a reason to fuck shit up. Rather than settle for tired Bush-bashing, Hoysten tackles government corruption, war, poverty and class tension the things, she says, people tend to forget when they're consuming, obsessing about celebs and getting shit-faced every night. The result, Erase Errata's third album and first without founding guitarist Sara Jaffe, is an invigorating wake-up call about the rampant Paris Hilton-ification and complacency of our culture. Nightlife which doesn't alter so much as beef up the band's twitchy, cacophonic post-punk sounds as ominous as its subject matter. "Tax Dollar," "Wasteland (In a...)" and "Another Genius Idea from Our Government" tick with the menacing danceability of Gang of Four, and the closing title track, a wash of distortion featuring Hoysten repeating "Nightlife, forget about real life," is an admonition. Erase Errata might one day smile, but in the meantime they're making some very loud, very listenable protest music.
Jim McFarlin writes about movies for Metro Times.. Send comments to [email protected].