This job isn't as easy as it looks, you know. You might be thinking, "Whatever. I can do that. She just says some crap about some band and calls it a day. Not only could I do that, but I could do it better!" Well, maybe you can. But you don't. And sometimes this job is hard. Sometimes I don't want to write, sometimes there isn't much to write about, and sometimes there's that week when I want to write and there's plenty to write about, but no matter how hard I try, the words just don't come out right. Despite whether or not there's something happening, or whether or not I have something to say, I have to come up with something to say. Ugh.

Where am I going with all this? Well, I'm cranky, and I'm cranky because this is one of those not-so-easy weeks. But even in my not-so-good mood, I had to find something to write about, so I got a copy of the new record by Portland's 31Knots, who just so happen to be playing an all-ages show at the Vera Project on Saturday, September 13. Begrudgingly (knowing full well that when I'm cranky, I hate everything), I listened to the record. It took a listen or two to get into, but I was ultimately convinced that you, me, and basically everyone in the world needs to hear it. It nods to Fugazi, without copying them. At times, it even says hello to Jawbox. It's clinically formulaic--but I don't mean overused. I mean in the scientific sense, like a long string of mind-boggling chemistry formulas being rewritten with guitar, bass, and drums so that the network of letters and numbers can make sense to anyone who's not a biochemist.

During the fifth track, "We Still Have Our Legs," lead singer Joe Haege sings, "We still have our arms. We still have our legs. We still have our hearts. We still have our brains," over a combination of guitar and bass lines that fight for attention while still playing nicely with the vocals. It's strange, but really good. Then all parts begin to mix, the chemicals begin to react, the distortion hazes everything, and it explodes. "We know the world is crooked, but we must make good. Carry on, you crooked corpse." Wonderful.

Song after song, the album goes from a strange state of unsettling calamity to a jarring collection of explosive noise (but not in a frustrating way, because while it's a bit chaotic, it still all makes sense), while also wading a bit in everything in between. I can't wait to find out how these songs sound live. Something tells me it'll be fantastic, even if I am still in a bad mood by the time the show comes around. MEGAN SELING

Need more? You can hear my personal picks for the week on 107.7 The End every Monday and Friday at 5:30 pm during DJ No Name's Afternoon Experiment.