NPR logo Viking's Choice: Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly To 'Spank Jail'

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Viking's Choice: Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly To 'Spank Jail'

Two Inch Astronaut. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Two Inch Astronaut.

Courtesy of the artist

Guys, did you hear? The '90s are back! By all means, don't let go — you've got the music in you — but as the nostalgia gap gets shorter every year, there's a fine line between homage and theft. That's why recent rock bands like Milk Music, Speedy Ortiz and Roomrunner get it right, ingesting bands that made 120 Minutes and the left side of the dial vital, while still demonstrating that there are still plenty of raucous hooks to mine. You can count Two Inch Astronaut among that growing list, thanks to its spastic freakout "Spank Jail," from the forthcoming Bad Brother.

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Courtesy of the artist

Two Inch Astronaut.

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Listen: Two Inch Astronaut, 'Spank Jail'

Spank Jail

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/190729640/190730029" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • from Bad Brother
  • by Two Inch Astronaut

Reckless and irresponsibly catchy, "Spank Jail" is clearly a product of Two Inch Astronaut's surroundings in suburban Washington, D.C. It explodes with a twisted riff and a nasty bass line out of The Dismemberment Plan or Frodus, but in those bands' respective misfit-toy phases — goofy, awkward and loud as all get-out (hey, it's the '90s). But the chorus is where Two Inch Astronaut sets itself apart, finding two notes to breathe before the gliding, melodic full-steam-ahead. This is nerd music for who those who plug in.

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Bad Brother comes out June 18 on Exploding in Sound Records.