Sound check. Temp check. You hear it? You feel it?
That fog of disdain in the air is not reserved only for the weather in Kansas, but for the rhetoric in our state’s current climate. Luckily, the weather will revert back to cooler days in a few short months, but we’re also reverting back to our history’s past with the rise of white supremacy and authoritarian narcissism.
What, you disagree? Then I guarantee you did not enjoy the recently released “Unamerican Activities” by punk rock band Red Kate. The ferocious polemic on the current state of affairs was the plot of Red Kate’s sophomore album and turns yet another page with their latest release, a split EP from Red Kate and Stiff Middle Fingers. Listening serves as a deep inhale of toxic bullshit and an aggressive exhale of every expletive you wish you could scream.
The only references to the past which are championed on the newly released split ep is the fact the album is served on a 7” vinyl, and stays true to the hardcore punk formula with songs clocking in around two minutes in length. This allows Stiff Middle Fingers’ lead singer Travis Arey the opportunity to hold nothing back while he expresses disenchantment with society, work, personal relations and more. His scream has nice melodic undertones, backed by a Flogging Molly-like urgency of the pounding drums, serving as your voice of angst. Each song is 120 seconds of complex time and sporadic signature changes that shred and pump your heart.
“This disk is eight minutes of tight chaos packed onto seven inches of virgin black vinyl,” explained Black Site, Kansas City’s co-op recording label, in their press release of the album. “If it doesn’t make you move, call an ambulance. You might be dead.”
This record marks the debut of Stiff Middle Fingers (Topeka / Lawrence) on vinyl and with Black Site. It is the third record from punk rock and roll stalwarts Red Kate (Kansas City). Sidenote: seveneightfive will now refer to the duo as The Punks of I70.
If your inner voice desperately wants to scream “Go Fuck Yourself,” and rooftop yoga just doesn’t seem to be the release you once envisioned – perhaps the catharsis you’ve been searching for is a good old fashioned, high-octane punk show. And lucky for you, that’s what is being served.
#seveneightfive | JUNE 2017