Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cassette Review: Period Bomb "PERMANENTLY WET" (Crass Lips Records)

To refer to Period Bomb as "punk" doesn't seem fair to me.   I've been listening to music that could be called "punk" since the mid to late 1990's-- that was when I got into bands like NOFX and Pennywise and then had to go back in time and discover the Ramones and Sex Pistols, etc.    But something about Period Bomb seems advanced even for someone like Iggy Pop as a comparison.    I recently re-watched Odd Future make their national television debut on Jimmy Fallon and this feels like that in a way-- it just takes an existing idea you have about a genre of music and brings it out in a new way.   But Period Bomb are not reinventing the wheel.   They are destroying the wheel.   Tearing it apart and putting it back together as something you would only recognize as a wheel in the past tense.

These songs are loud and in your face.   They are along the lines of a band you would want to go see in person because you wouldn't be sure how the show would go.   It's like Mike Ness said once back on a live CD: back when punk rock was dangerous.    What has punk rock become today but a slogan on a t-shirt?   I think Period Bomb is developing a new sound that shouldn't be called punk rock but I have no idea what to call it.    In some ways it reminds me of Birthing Hips but like, dialed up twenty notches (and believe me, I thought Birthing Hips was pretty far out there)

One thing you need to recognize about this music as well- which is why I want to drift away from that "punk" tag- is that musically, it is technically sound.   You see, punk has a history of being simple.   If you're playing as fast as you can, you tend to lose some of the grace that comes with it... at least that's what I always thought, but this is as structurally sound as anything played at even half the speed (Think: Dillinger Escape Plan)   Through screams of horror, this could sound like someone is being murdered at times and there is this definite sort of "art" sound to it as well, which makes me think of bands like Be Your Own Pet.

This music also has that "riotgrrl" feel to it, even though I'm not really sure what that means anymore.   People on social media who are over-sensitive will give you shit just for saying something has "female vocals", you know, because that's about as sexist as distinguishing between an acoustic and bass guitar, but we all need a reason to fly our own flags of pretending to care, right?   I've said it perhaps too many times, but when I was into music for the first maybe twenty or so years of my life, I don't feel like there were a lot of women making music that I cared about.   Go back and look at grunge and the early years of Warped Tour and try to prove me wrong.

But what all of those keyboard warriors fail to realize about their false claims of sexism is that the music of Period Bomb actually defies gender.    I mean, yes, the first song does repeat the line "Normalfy my pussy", but it's not like that's excluding me from the music.   I don't know how or why, but the music feels so brash, so off-putting like you wouldn't want to approach these artists after a show but yet at the same time, the lyrics and everything just draw me in and want me to help these women be seen more as equals than anything else in this world. 

It's 2018 and this is one of the first reviews I'm writing, perhaps after drinking too mucn coffee and feeling 97% better after what was likely the flu.    I'm going to be more honest with this last paragraph perhaps than in anything else that I ever write but here goes: The majority of artists out there simply find someone they enjoy and copy them.   And I'm not saying everyone who goes out and buys a guitar because they love Dylan sounds exactly like him, I'm saying that they put their twist on his style. 

Very rarely does an artist come along that has that vision and seems like they're not trying to their own spin on an existing artist that I think when it happens we don't know how to accept it anymore.   But, Period Bomb is not the result of like-minded individuals appreciating the same musicians.    it's not a hybrid.  It is something new and different.   It is on another level and I cannot stress that enough.    But if you don't believe me now, one day you will see it for yourself.

$5 // //

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