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Tyvek Takes a Chance

January 17th, 2011

Tyvek – Mercury Lounge – January 16, 2011

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Across an assortment of cassettes, 7″ releases and seven full-lengths, Tyvek has nailed not being nailed down to a particular style from release to release. Onstage, their raw, loose punk is exactly like their recorded material, full of energy and imperfections. And based on the sheer volume of material and evident in their live show, there’s no time to slow down and reflect because their evolution is happening so fast. Maybe they’re being hunted down by cease-and-desist legal action from the house-wrap manufacturer of the same name. So, trying to stay one step ahead of the copyright police, they began an East Coast-to-Midwest-to-Europe tour last night at Mercury Lounge, frantically writing and recording the next song on the way to another show.

This tends to keep the tracks brief, based in rhythm over melody, switching between two notes at a time. Like their English predecessors the Buzzcocks, Tyvek seems to ride the energy of the performance. Without falling back on any one particular sound they avoid being pigeonholed, deliberately recording under what sounds like all kinds of circumstances and levels of fidelity. They’ve hit on their own antistyle, which is always being unfamiliar. The band’s whole approach can be summed up by last night’s “Underwater 2,” off their latest, Nothing Fits: “Just do what you want/ Just do what you feel.”

Tyvek, formed in Detroit, attributes much of Nothing Fits to trying to describe the utter decay and hopelessness of the city that’s become the poster child of the national housing bust. So the band finds a place crammed in between the garage and pop-punk genres, probably because they’re open to exploring an unrehearsed expression while not being afraid to sound like they’re falling apart or willing to fail—not that Tyvek would ever call it that because it’s completely genuine and always sincere. And that’s all you want when a band take these kinds of chances. —Jason Dean