Let’s take a little stroll through Alternative Control history… The Listening Lately column series started back in 2017 and had entries as recently as September 2020. But with the new year, it’s time for a new column series, or at least slapping a new title on an old one: Inbox Gems.
This series is thusly named because that’s where I’m finding this sonic gold — the promo and freelance writing inbox.
The first gem is this lyric video from Kentucky thrashers Belushi Speed Ball. Inspired by a mean comment the band received on Youtube, the tongue-in-cheek song “We’re Not Thrashers, We’re Hipster Posers” lampoons the gatekeeping culture that’s all too common in metal social media discourse. And y’know what, it’s freaking hysterical.
The band says, “The chorus is all about how we aren’t metal. Then, we end the song with us singing the chorus in a pop punk style, complete with generic ‘whoas.'” In fact, the “whoas” are my favorite part of the song. Guess I’m a hipster poser too! But anyhow, watch this video for yourself and trust that it’s worth three and a half minutes of your life.
Next up is Boozewa, a pandemic project that involves two Backwoods Payback members. I’ve been a fan of BWPB since Future Slum appeared in my inbox a couple years ago, so it was exciting to hear a new project from these folks. The Pennsylvania band’s demo First Contact will be out on February 5th in cassette and digital formats, packed tight with 90s-esque angst and wall-shaking basement riffage.
“Making music during a time when you literally could not do anything else just made sense,” the band commented. “We were lucky that a wave of inspiration decided to crest in the spring of 2020 and even luckier still there we all had a house full of gear to make it happen. We have no idea what 2021 holds for this band but wherever we end up, you will for sure hear us coming…”
And the final Inbox Gem for today is Black TarPoon, a south Texas folk punk outfit. They put out The Thad EP (that’s what it’s called) on bandcamp in July 2020, and they’re working on a full-length called Probable Caws to put out later this year. As listened to this one, I got the distinct impression that these folks were For Real. It’s clear that the grit and heartache in these songs comes from a place of lived authenticity — so I ended up buying The Thad EP in spite of already having the promo. (If that’s not a vote of confidence, I don’t know what is.) Fans of Social Distortion, Goddamn Gallows, and Johnny Cash should definitely check out this band.
What diamonds in the rough have you found lately? Leave a comment!