Mike Watt is one of punk’s most beloved senior sages, serving as bassist for the Minutemen and Firehose in the 1980s/’90s, as well as standing in during the early 2000s as bassist for Iggy’s Pop’s Stooges. Watt’s latest project, with vocalist/guitarist Todd Congelliere, is being presented on the installment plan.
The first eight-song EP Round One (Recess Records) has been released on CD and 12-inch vinyl, but the duo pledges to release four more EPs in the series prior to ever playing live. The first round holds the promise that the project may be one of the most exciting of 2020/’21.
Each cut relies on a different drummer, ranging from Patty Schemel of Hole to George Hurley of the Minutemen, a strategy that gives each track a character of its own. The recording techniques are crisp but lo-fi at the same time, giving songs like “Babylon Gone” the feel of early singles by The Clash. It’s possible the presentation may wear thin by the 40th song of Round Five, but for now, this is a series holding a lot of promise.