Tabs Out | Staffers – In the Pigeonhole

Staffers – In the Pigeonhole

1.19.21 by Matty McPherson

I’ll admit I have a nasty habit of leaving the punk tapes on my racks. And I apologize! Because there are a lot of little strange nuggets passing through, in those black and white cases. Staffers’ In the Pigeonhole is one such that kinda fell through the crevices throughout the last three months. It’s a shame because for 26 rambunctious minutes, Staffers treat punk like it is a rowdy night at the local high school bar where they just restored the mechanical bull.

Now you might think it a little too hyperbolic or sketchy. No, not at all! DC-implant Ryan McKeever has a knack for the “loud post-punk pop” sound synonymous with Parkay Quarts. His history opening for like minded fellows Bodega, Lithics, and Media Jeweler suggest a kinship for taking the wry sound and squeezing out pop ditties and shanties. And his lyrics are equally brimming hazed dejections on presiding in this perpetual hell world. Yet, nine tracks, it never feels like it’s rushing, just brimming with natural flourishes and one-ups.

For In the Pigeonhole, McKeever is aided by like- minded pedal steelers, violinists, and saxophonists. Staffers have a cathartic kind of feel to their tunes. His sing-speak maintains this shambolic nature that pushes the sound further into folksy bar rock. Aided by partner in crime, Anna McClellan, their harmonies go above yelling into the void, begging you to join in the moment on “Though I Could Do It”. Other times, it is found through Colin Duckworth’s pedal steel action that introduces a country twang as clean as a keg pour with a two-finger head (for the ipa heads at home). 

On the standout last track, “Just Another Tuesday”, both the harmonies and twang meet in unison for a sublime “last call” this side of the Moss Cantina. Yeah, another Tuesday has been wasted, along with another year. But, that’s just the cycle of how things go. If anything, Staffers seem to know that, and their nice cut of post-punk pop to reflect keeps things warm as the nights stay chilled.

Edition of 200 available here and here

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