Gaytheist, Let's Jam Again Soon (Good to Die Records)
[HEAVY LEVITY] Let's hear it for band dudes who don't take their work too seriously! The punk and metal scenes are fit to burst with grave bros who wield guitars like advanced degrees in human excellence, so we need more bands that understand the shortest route to shared joy is partly lit by laughter and glee. Gaytheist is one of those necessary interventions. Taking a cue from the self-aware heaviness of Pacific Northwest-bred bands like Karp, C Average and Red Fang, the Portland trio strikes a perfect balance between quickening riff wizardry and disarming levity. Let's Jam Again Soon is the trio's finest album to date, a breathless 30 minutes of rock revelry. Every song is a workout—drummer Nick Parks, a fleet marvel, is especially busy—but it's all in the service of collective fun. The mostly instrumental "Avenged Seven-Minute Abs" is a whirling post-hardcore wonder that morphs into an anthem for empty nesters. "The kids are grown/They're on their own," Jason Rivera sings. "Flex those abs/Lose that flab." If that fails to tickle you, you might be at the wrong party. Gaytheist isn't a joke band, though. It simply integrates everyday silliness into its carefully crafted world. And it's a tiny corner of existence that never stops being fun to return to.
SEE IT: Gaytheist plays The Know, 3728 NE Sandy Blvd., with Nasalrod and Drunk Dad, on Saturday, July 1. 8 pm. $10. 21+.