White Stains Make Me Sick LP
I don’t really know where to begin. I expected great things from this band, but Make Me Sick has knocked me out. Why? Because it is the perfect punk record. It sounds like a street fight, lost beforehand, between a gang of scrawny and stoned punks against the local jocks. Like one of those weeks when everything goes berserk, life beats you down, and you just need to vent your bad blood, go out, roll up the lapels of your jacket and look hateful at your neighbors from above your sunglasses. Look hateful at old women dragging their purses across the sidewalk; at the children who play in the park; at the families who are out for a walk and look like the people in those disgusting car commercials. It sounds like a society reject, drinking cheap booze straight out of a brown bag in the snowed parking lot of a lonely gas station in the middle of a boring and dead suburban neighborhood. It sounds simultaneously urgent and carefree, loose, like a threat veiled with indifference, as if you were trying to look unworried, but something is devouring you alive. The guitars wobble back and forth, like in an eternal question/answer dynamic. They sound like razors being sharpened, like a whistle loaded with intention, of bile and poison. It reeks of alleyways, basements, train stations, liquor store back rooms, squats. It sounds as if ’77 punk met Midwest ’80s hardcore punk. Provocative but decisive. A maelstrom of noise and drum rolls. Albeit they pretend to look as amateurs, you can see years of experience behind each song. I can imagine the singer, hanging from the microphone, falling and rolling over the stage, spitting at the public. The guitarists, concentrated, immersed in their own world, intercalating those barrages of distortion, as if they were passing a ball from side to side, deliriously, sickly, as if the riffs were a hot globe that burned their hands. At times, the songs contract, concentrating all its strength in palm mutes and dry blows, just to suddenly explode soon after, provoking sonic avalanches. At the second listening, I already knew it would end up being one of my favourite 2020 records. For true punks.