If you follow both music and politics, chances are sometime between now and last November you read or heard the phrase "at least punk is going to be good again."
Punk was never bad, you just weren’t listening to the right stuff.
Regardless, the sense of despair felt by most broke musicians at the possibility of losing their health insurance means 2017 is shaping up for some gnarly headbangers.
Here’s three singles you should check out now, and brace yourself for their related albums to kick your ass.
Ignorecam by Pissed Jeans
This is the second single from the Allentown, PA-based manbabies of hardcore to drop since November, leading up to the release of their fifth full-length "Why Love Now" at the end of next month.
"Ignorecam" starts out, like many of my favorite PJ tracks, not with a long-drawn intro, but with a sucker punch in the face (see "I’m Sick," "Male Gaze" or "Secret Admirer" for more examples). Vocalist Matt Korvette roars the opening lines as the rest of the band lay into one of the sludgiest riffs I’ve ever heard out of them. It seems they’re hell-bent on getting heavier with each release, moving from the scraping, angular guitars of their first album "Shallow" into a more bass-oriented tone.
If the rest of "Why Love Now" is as hard-hitting as "Ignorecam" and the other single "The Bar is Low," it should be one hell of an album for fighting off seasonal depression in February.
Blank Touch by PC Worship
Written around a poem by frontman Justin Frye, this new track from Parquet Courts collaborators PC Worship eschews the slow builds of their previous work in favor of a more direct statement.
Coming out of the gate with a brighter mix, glam-reminiscent vocals and prevalent guitar noodling, it seems the group has conjured up more of a pop-sensibility for this upcoming LP. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of discordant noise drifting about on the back end, but overall it feels a bit more polished than the trash-strewn trudge through New York landfills that was 2014’s "Social Rust" and their 2015 "Basement Hysteria" EP. "Blank Touch" is the first single from "Buried Wish," set to drop Feb. 24.
Get Hurt by AFI
"Get Hurt" is now the seventh single available from the legendary death-punk group’s tenth release "The Blood Album," set to drop in-full this Friday.
To be fair, the first three singles were only 45-second soundscapes, but everything else sounds REALLY solid. AFI’s last release, "Burials," was rumored to harken back to their early punk sound, but it mucked around in a lot of the electronic and operatic elements that have thrown me off from them a bit since 2006’s "Decemberunderground."
"Get Hurt" is a straight-up rocker though, and considered with the other singles, "Aurelia," "Snow Cats," and "White Offerings" (my favorite of the bunch), "The Blood Album" is set to be their best work in a while. Nothing tops the "All Hallows EP" though; it’s still the first thing I listen to on Halloween each year.