The debut by Portland’s Neckties Make Me Nervous offers up four songs of a passionate blend of punk and hardcore. Whether they’re railing against elitism (“Operation: Junior High”) or the commoditization of violent imagery in punk (“Apparently The Khmer Rouge Are Killing Quite A Lot of People In Portland”), this five-piece moves in, attacks, and moves on. Recorded by Jake Hall (Wolf Parade, Built To Spill), the record serves as a document that bands can still be both intelligent and furious as shit.
It’s great when a band has their shit together. Neckties are one of those bands. Channeling old school hardcore and straight-up political punk rock on their debut 7” these guys prove to be the real deal through and through. For such a young band, I am amazed at how singular their sound is. Fast, loud, pissed off, these guys remind us that there is still a fight to be fought.
(Peter Terebesi) Verbicide Magazine Issue 19, Spring 2007
Here's the shit, well qualified for "best record from a band I've never heard of and know nothing about." All I can tell you is that these kids appear to be straight shooting stirrers from Portland Punk City, USA. They sound confused as they play songs that sit somewhere between 90s melodic chaos (try UOA for a reference, but JACK ACID works just as well), modern catchy lo fi shits (OBSERVERS, PEDESTRIANS) and street punk (I'll be damned if "The Fourteen Home" doesn't sound like fellow PDXers THE RIFFS). Lyrically these guys spit fucking fire with desperate frustration, irony and rage. The first song should become the anthem for any future black clad backlash featuring the lyrics "and the punks put the pictures on the record sleeves." The other three tracks similarly ooze with isolation and honesty. Certainly this is far from the tightest or best produced record, but I'm pretty sure that was not the mission. Pure punk in intent and delivery, and there's not much more I could ask for. A great release, and they are nice enough to throw in a CD with the same tracks for easy listening on the go. So now I can jam "Eat The Knife" on my way to work tonight...Sweet.
(Robert) Slug & Lettuce #89 Autumn 2006
This is a fucking impressive debut 7” and I am gritting my teeth for a full-length!! Raw and crazy energetic hardcore punk rock. Urgent and chaotic as fuck. The attack is overpowering and magnificent. This is confrontational and intelligent. How can you fuck with that? Fantastic vocals that remind me slightly of Jesse Luscious at times, in fact, there is a slight CRIMINALS element to NECKTIES MAKE ME NERVOUS which is cool with me! There’s nothing else to say. Just get this and get blown away. I hope these guys are working on a full-length!!!!! Oh yeah, no need to shy away for this absolutely necessary 7” just because you don’t got a record player because this 7” comes with a CD-R version too so there’s no excuse!
No Front Teeth Webzine
One day, years ago, when I working a coffee job, a guy dressed very similarly to me—T-shirt, jeans, sneakers—came in and looked really jumpy. I didn’t ask. He just started talking as I handed him his cup. “I was at the Golden Donut Palace up the street. Two dudes in clown masks came in and held the place up with shotguns. They only took stuff from the men in ties and the rich-looking women. Left all the manual laborers alone.” That’s always stuck with me. If I ever lead a life of crime, neckties will somehow be used as a barometer. Neckties Make Me Nervous follow suit: it feels like they’re holding up rich “picked first in kickball” punk rockers at gunpoint with their stripped-down, gritty DIY punk that’s swollen with smarts and well-placed pride in being a societal fuck up, way past the time in life where it’s fashionable. Fans of Crimpshrine and Cleveland Bound Death Sentence take note. (Features a member of Pelvis Wesley, too.) Very satisfying.
(Todd) RAZORCAKE, Issue #34, October/November 2006
The punchline to the title track is "…and the punks put the pictures on the record sleeves." It’s a brilliantly realized attack on the appropriation of (mostly third world) violence and suffering by punks who pair up the stolen graphics with a half-assed "fuck war" song. NECKTIES MAKE ME NERVOUS plays fast, snotty, pissed-off punk rock with smart lyrics that lean towards healthy criticism of problems within the punk scene. Sound-wise they are fairly one-dimensional – it feels like the singer is just over your shoulder screaming in your ear the whole time the record is playing, Still, this is a good record all around. It comes with lots of goodies like stickers and posters, and apparently even a CD for the turntable-deprived.
(AM) MRR, Issue #282, November 2006