Turns out they were just gently working out the kinks on their hellacious debut LP, Apocalyptic Behavior, on Okie Dope Records.
This is just as strong as anything like-minded contemporaries Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees are pumping out, only truer to the wellspring of ’70s punk that inspired the garage revival in the first place. Whereas those bands sound as if they hail from the 21st century, you can’t be so sure with Copperheads. This is Raw Power-era Iggy & the Stooges (“Sewer Rat” and “Meat By-Product” especially), for you.
The songs rarely conclude how you think they will, but always as they should.
“Quality” goes from a sauntering garage ditty into a primal, feverish implosion by song’s end; similarly, “Windshield Wiper,” from fuzzy to spiked in the span of two minutes.
That constant surprise plays into Copperheads’ greatest strength: this slightest control and manipulation of an aggressive, chaotic and mesmerizing sound … like holding a shark with a dog leash.
Ever forceful, Apocalyptic Behavior never relents of the course of its 11 songs, racing like Crank before the album’s heart essentially explodes at its end with the title track.
The official release show is at 8 p.m. Saturday with The Boom Bang and Your Mom at VZD’s, 4200 N. Western. Admission is $5. For more information, visit okiedope.com. —Joshua Boydston