In Rotation: 30 Second Theater - Horrible Things

Phil Collins - January 26, 2015

Horrible Things

Suburban Chicago family band 30 Second Theater releases their debut full-length album, Horrible Things, on January 28. The pop-punk four-piece most frequently calls to mind bands like The Offspring, with driving guitar riffs and melodic choruses. After a handfull of listens, I am having the most fun imagining Glenn Danzig singing "Graveyards." That's not to say that vocalist and guitarist Robert Rzepka is affecting a Danzig-ian timbre on the track. It is simply a horror punk song that is closer to The Misfits than anything else on this album and I can easily imagine the lyrics rolling out of the throat of the dark one himself.

Robert Rzepka is joined in the band by his brothers Peter and Mark Rzepka and their cousin Daniel Budzioch. Together, they have released two demo EPs and a single. Now they have a full album on the board. Highlights include "Distiller," which is strongest in its full-throttle final 90 seconds or so; "Angels," which joins "Graveyards" as a thematic and sonic departure from the rest of the album; and "What You Do," which you can listen to below.

The band started recording Horrible Things in late 2013. Robert Rzepka tells me the process hit a delay when the studio they were working with was bought out by another company. When recording resumed, 30 Second Theater worked with Chris Harden, who also mixed and mastered the album. The band actually built some of the guitars and amps used on the record — "a proprietary 1-wire mod on 3 different Marshall Plexis and a jcm800, all 100 watt amps," Rzepka said. For all you recording junkies, there you have it. Look out for Horrible Things on January 28.