Sound design doesn't come much greasier than what Hawkes commits to wax here, but the "raw" tag belies his compositional polish. The blown-out thump that opens "Housing Project" doesn't do much to distinguish this music, either. But once Hawkes lays down a nervy half-melody and gives you precisely the number of zaps you need, you know you're in good hands. With helium-enriched vocals and dub chords that vanish into the void, "Marvin" thrusts all those tough drums into space.
Each tune is solid, but once you've discovered the B-side, you may have a hard time flipping this one over. I'm tempted to call bullshit on "Teetotal Acid"'s sobriety, but after repeated listens, its slow-rolling 303 line and ecstatic whooping sound less wacked-out than clear-headedly considered. "Sealion Woman," blisteringly paced and melody-free save a sassy rendition of the American folk tune, is likely to turn the most heads. That music so avidly old school can still feel innovative, though, is the real trick.