Punk is a part of New York as much as the abnormally sized slices of pepperoni pizza, organic hipster coffee shops and overly aggressive taxi drivers. However, punk isn’t as much as a prominent presence as it was with the Ramones, New York Dolls and The Cramps. So where are all the alternative and pissed off youth that were so present in the glory days of the ‘70s? Is it true that they have all fled to upper Manhattan to star in their own reality show/open an art gallery? No, not at all. There are still a select few out there fighting the good fight with power chords and tinnitus. Here Clash presents a few of the relatively unknown punk acts making serious noise in New York at the moment.
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The young snarling lead singer sounds a bit like he’s a spoilt American child responding to being asked to take the garbage out by his mother. It’s brilliant. The chord progression in ‘Shut Your Mouth’ has elements of pop punk surrounding it, but not in the blatantly obvious Sum 41 sort of way, as it’s salvaged by the on-the-verge-of-a-break-down vocal line.
Unstoppable Death Machines
These brothers opt for a more modern punk ethos in which they describe as ‘art punk’. I know that sounds incredibly douche like, but with an organ-esque chorus that reminisces the likes of The Clean’s ‘Tally Ho’ and a plethora of grotty vocals, you can kind of see where they are coming from. Kind of. Plus, every band with the word death in their name must be good. It’s just a fact.
Punk as we most commonly know – loud, thrashy and recorded in a tin can - but done very, very well. There’s not really much info about these lot, their official website (acidproblem.com) is all over the place, so you can’t really take away any useful info. Their Facebook simply states they are from Brooklyn and consist of four members: ACC, BABDALE, GRM and MJG. We’re starting to think their name might actually be a cry for help...
After listening to Acid Problem this lot might not seem so loud, but they’re just as fast and chaotic, with vocals weirdly mirroring Dead Kennedys’ singer Jello Biafra’s trembling style. They’ll be playing at SXSW this year, so if you fancy moshing in the red hot sun and passing out from dehydration, go find them.
Low Fat Getting High
The bridge in ‘Lacoste’ fools you into thinking it may be grunge…or even country for a few brief seconds. It swerves off from its intense riffage into a mucky abyss, but then dives out for the noise riddled outro. Confusing? Yes. Disappointing? No.
Words by Jamie Carson
So who are your favourite New York punk acts in 2013? Leave your suggestions in the comments...