Self Released (2017)
Let’s take a quick little journey back to a time when hardcore wasn’t the dirty little secret of punk — before metal stuck its greasy hands in the cookie jar, before screamo thought it hardcore, when noise punk was more linear, and before mathrock fell over the prog cliff. Now fast forward a tiny bit to the post-hardcore time when bands like Unsane and Scratch Acid made it little weirder, a little darker, and a hell of a lot more interesting. You can throw whatever label on it you want– this is the section of your record collection where In Jail belongs.
This one was a surprise; From first listen, a sense of awe came over me that I simply was not expecting. Upon second listen, I came to terms with that fact that this was far more intricate than initially thought. After round fifty-something, I can honestly say that this ten minute EP from Phoenix’s Pent Up is fucking perfect.
From teeth-gnashing guitars and pounding rhythm section to the skull-cracking vocals, you’ll find yourself filled with a healthy rage to go fuck things up.
It beckoned my brain back to an album that I’ve held onto since my young adult years, “Where Meager Die of Self Interest” by Ninety Pound Wuss, which was the black sheep album of the Tooth & Nail Records catalog. At the time, I had never heard anything like it and to this day its still one of my favorite obscurities to pull out for the music nerds at cocktail parties. The band’s sudden turn to a vicious, ball-busting anger didn’t exactly go over well with the label’s fan base of suburban christian kids, but really, has everyone been missing out.
In a similar fashion, Pent Up sticks out like sore thumb against its mostly pop-punk, butt-rock, and neo-metal contemporaries here in The Valley, but that is definitely NOT a bad thing. In fact, it gives me hope for the next generation of desert punks.
Have I mentioned that this EP is fucking perfect? Seriously, why aren’t you already listening to it?