Anxiety, S/T (La Vida Es Un Mus, 6/29/2016)
Amidst the soul-crushing mix of braying (sorry, “commenting”) jackasses and unwanted personal hygiene pop-ups, it’s nice when the internet coughs up something new and interesting.
Such was the feeling a few weeks back when stumbling across Anxiety, a new “let’s just call it punk even though it’s more complicated than that” four piece out of Glasgow. As far as I can tell – after some admittedly flimsy research – the band formed last summer, the members hailing from other Glaswegian bands. Youtube also provides evidence for a particularly robust live set.
The record itself is a richly dark slab of 80s-leaning hardcore, which also packs elements of early, rawer post-punk (particularly on opener, “Dark and Wet”), crust and industrial into a tightly rolled and ready to explode package. The rollicking, acid hoedown ring-a-ding guitar of “Human Hell” and “Sewer In My Mind” recalls Dead Kennedys; elsewhere, the band tap the experimental aspects of bands like Flipper and the visceral thrust of crust titans like Crass and Rudimentary Peni. The vocals slap like the hoarsest, most out of fucks to give version of Rollins circa Damaged, at times using effects that recall early Butthole Surfers and even Ministry. Musically, the songs teeter just on the edge of spiraling out of control – the brilliant “Sewer” being a prime example – held together by some very good guitar playing and a tight rhythm section.
Deeply moving in its stark unsettling vibe, tales of outsiders giving up and general disillusionment – pieces not fitting (a feeling mirrored by the cover art, above). With titles including “Dark and Wet”, “Addicted to Punishment” and “Sewer In My Mind”, it’s fair to say this isn’t an “up” album, but as a wise man once said “anger is an energy” and there can be light (or, at least, catharsis) mined from bleak sources.
Highlights include: “Delayed”, “Sewer In My Mind”, “Dark and Wet”, “Human Hell”.