Reckling’s self-titled debut is a rowdy, lean exhibition of stone cold shredders, the ideal accompaniment to smearing lipstick obscenities on your ex’s bathroom mirror and smashing Grandma’s china set. Fronted by renaissance woman Kelsey Reckling (photographer, avian enthusiast and head of Wink and Spit Records), alongside members of Audacity, Together Pangea and Weird Night, Reckling offers up a relentless exercise of sublimely barefaced garage rock.
Kelsey’s tight guitar riffing, alongside Matt Schmalfeld’s inexorable bass, entwines a toothsome tautness throughout the album; a tension abetted by Kelsey’s cutting vocal work. Through Reckling’s portentous, pitch-perfect range—best highlighted on closing number “The Warning”—her voice extends beyond mere vulnerability into the far more brutal, risky realm of unchecked honesty. Candidly uncontrived, Reckling knows when to exercise the perfect degree of restraint—as well as when to let loose. ‘Yeah, you’re boring’ jeers Reckling on “Lying,” followed by a scream that’s less cathartic than it is unadulterated frustration. This is real rage: a bitter pill vomited back up.
Far from being another reductive Cali-punk exercise, Reckling demonstrates incredible lyrical acuteness. Comfortable in the uncomfortable nexus of self-awareness, she is at ease balancing earnestness with an unironic, bitter humor. On the ominously galloping, Fidlar-esque “Spitter,” the unstoppable Reckling darkly states to a rival: ‘You’re in my way / Bitter girl / I hear your desperate call.’ With no small amount of jadedness, Reckling matter-of-factly sings on “Head Hole:’ ‘He cums all over the carpet / He drops me on the floor / I point him towards the door.’ As intimate as Reckling can get, she never relinquishes narrative control—and in that, possesses a magnetic and irresistible musical clout.
Although tour dates have yet to be announced, Reckling is available for streaming on Bandcamp as well as physical tapes via Burger Records.