Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dead Uncles / The Credentials on 86'd Records

Got another single in today I'm just getting to from 86'd Records out of Long Island. It's a split from Dead Uncles and The Credentials, two Northeast pop hardcore punk bands both capturing that angsty, pissed off about everything sound that dominated a huge part of finding out about underground music and growing up.

"Constant Disappointment" from Dead Uncle is that classic punk hardcore sound that for me started out in high school, getting a little edgier, past the obvious mainstream bands. Someone passes you a 7seconds or Gorilla Biscuits cassette and it's starts you on your liner notes research rabbit hole. I'm sure nowadays it takes an afternoon of devouring the millions of spin off bandcamp pages right away honing your own taste. Lyrically these guys are taking me back there too, this sort of weird lost anger or just plain boredom. Figuring things out, the reality always being a disapointment, this place you're growing up in, the people around you changing...this will always be the soundtrack of those milestones; hanging out with older kids, listening to their fucked up stories, driving around in cars, skating, sneaking back into the house. This is coming out of New Haven, CT a town that very much could be a stand in for upstate, NY.
Dead Uncle has that kind of great sloppy sound; a thin, slappy snare, a guitar riff that ends up at the center started out way on the fringe, never the same thing exactly twice, a bassline swinging all over the place. A pie plate distortion finds it's way into those tambourine cymbal crashes, and it's pure, sincere perfection. Screamy vocals in a found journal way, but not the sort of overly anaylized direction. This is for their friends and New Haven, it's a little voyeuristic to even listen to this, but somehow it's universal in a lot of ways.

The Credentials side, are from Allston, MA (RIP - ed), and these two areas of the northeast ought to stack up nicely against each other and the themes of alienation, and things generally being a mess are true no matter where you're from. Zack has a screamy, deep throaty growl like Shane MacGowan. It's no wonder a Lou Barlow had to spring up in the late nineties, I mean if you can't yell cool like this you might as well just crawl under a rock or start a synth band, the opposite of macho cool. This is a three piece, no last names. Punk but with a omplexity to the chords and arrangements, real clean and big sounding compared to their buddies, the Dead Uncles. They've got their sound down...very polished and in danger of sounding suspect, but for the points where they get loose. You wouldn't know it but based on the lyrics I think this is about pining for this girl he hardly knows. What's more alientating than that, working at some terrible retail job, feeling worthless and then the possibly maybe can't even hope that girl working the next strip mall store over just might care a tiny bit about your life...that's when you get hopeless catharsis like this.

Nice sleeve split up by this pink 86'd Records wraparound, both bands liner notes upside down graphics.
Get this one from 86'd records, they have TONS of stuff in their distro, if you're at all into any one of these bands, there's going to be lots more where that came from on 86'd.

Split single with the longest song (and possibly best?) yet from each of these prolific road-worn East Coast D.I.Y. punk bands. Dead Uncles, from New Haven, CT, gives us "Constant Disappointment" a perfect 3 minute-plus shouted and sloppy pop-punk song with catchy hooks crescendoing into the awesome refrain of "I swear I'll never surrender" beating back the apathy and misery of the first half of the song. The Credentials clock in at almost 4 minutes with "Sulk," a tighter, more proficient and "mature" take on their earlier stuff, but still drunk, bored, desperate, and - of course hopeful - pop-punk from the Boston area 3-piece.

Packaged in a cardboard 7" sleeve with a removable paper strip with all the artwork being a collaboration between the bands. Mastered at Mammouth Sound Mastering by Dan Randall.

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