Waste Man nail a sound that is a very specific weak spot of mine: stark, jittery, awkwardly-funky punk rock that could, were the dial turned a fraction in the wrong direction, come off as some sort of piss-weak Chili Peppers tribute. While the Minutemen are the most obvious name to drop when it comes to This Stuff, it also extends to the worlds of Beefeater and Angry Red Planet, or for slightly more recent examples, Big Crux, Shoutbus! and Giant Haystacks. Like most of these bands, Waste Man are perhaps doomed to be ignored because this kind of punk is never in fashion, though since the label (rightly) mentions Saccharine Trust and Meat Puppets as reference points I guess a few more folks could be suckered in. For those of you who’ve not yet switched off entirely, the band absolutely nail it: the sparse, fragmented guitars and difficult bop are all there but remain assuredly punk, and the songwriting’s so smart that you’re body’s left feeling good even though your brain is telling you that everything about life is terrible. One track (‘Proofreaders, Singles, and Philosophers’) almost makes me think of Greg Cartwright fooling around with the Big Boys, so if you’re still with me but still kinda on the fence maybe start off with that one – I hope you like it as much as I do.