Reviews

D4MT Labs

Kaleidoscope Decolonization EP

This EP is the follow-up to KALEIDOSCOPE’s last release, the After the Futures LP, and it proves to be an even bigger middle finger to power. The band confronts colonization, greed, and imperialism in an angry punk kind of way, especially on the track “Decolonization” with the line “It’s decolonization or mass extinction.” Much of the album is reminiscent of ’80s L.A. punk. Think X or the GERMS, but the group occasionally gets a little more angular and noisy, which almost reminds me of ARAB ON RADAR. There’s also some more laid-back moments on the EP like the track “Girmitiya,” which pulls off a strangely hypnotic or psychedelic style of punk similar to CATHOLIC DISCIPLINE. I highly recommend giving this a listen and I’m looking forward to hearing more from these guys.

Straw Man Army Age of Exile LP

This is it. Saying “a proper LP” doesn’t do it service. Inventive and varied, Age of Exile flows with ecstatic energy from loud and distorted to subtle, sinister, anxious, and even charming. Very fresh sounding, it has a tendency to harken back to old anarcho-punk while also exploring more jamming, worldly aspects, all coalescing into a sinisterly dark and beautiful 30 minutes of spine-shivering punk. It’s admittedly a lot to take in between subject matter and the quality of the tunes. Lyrically, it sets you on the floor in reflection with direct and chilling anti-imperialist narration on historical and ecological subject matter. The amount of disturbingly poetic one-liners is fucking insane. There’s an accompanying video for “The Silver Bridge” which is jarring and visually stunning that I highly suggest viewing. The whole album is well-thought-out, well-researched, extremely well-versed, and a hell of a lot more earnest and sincere than most every band pumping out anti-cop and anti-Trump tunes (all of which are valid, this just smokes the rest). It’s like a dirty old ELF pamphlet from the ’90s coming to life in musical form. Poignant and necessary, a truly great record in my opinion. (Edit: I sent this to my brother and he said it sounded like PARQUET COURTS, but I don’t know what that means.)