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Era Bleak – S/T  [2020 PDX PUNK!]– New LP
Dirt Cult Records

Era Bleak – S/T [2020 PDX PUNK!]– New LP

Regular price $ 16.00 $ 0.00


2020 PDX PUNK!!!

As manifestos go, it’s difficult to argue with a statement as darkly straightforward as: ‘Things get shittier every week / No hope for the future in this era bleak’. That’s from the opening verse to Era Bleak’s theme song, which also happens to open up their debut album - it’s as accurate a summary of 2020 as you’re likely to find, made all the more emphatic by a frantic spasm of nervy guitar jerks and a 100mph rhythm section that knows the best way to get you there. Whether you’re looking for a soundtrack or antidote to - or even simply a distraction from - the horrors of the age, this record has most assuredly got your back.

Comprising members of Dark/Light, Piss Test and other punk/post-punk outfits who really should be filling out your record shelves right now, Era Bleak are one of those bands where every ingredient is key. If you really wanted to, you could draw comparisons with present-day heroes like Nots, Nylex or White Lung, but this Portland, Oregon quartet are comfortably and confidently ploughing their own furrow, pulling as many tricks from 1980s hardcore as they do from the awkward crunch of the weirdos who defined the Ron Johnson label. It’s a helluva racket, and it’ll make you feel like dancing drunk at a foam party inside a vat of toxic waste. (For clarity, OF FUCKING COURSE that’s a good thing).

Maybe you’ll feel energised as singer Candy yells, ‘We’ve all got something to say / We’ve all got nothing to say’ on the vapid-slogan-bashing ‘Opinions’. Maybe you’ll want to punch the air with a bulldozer when ‘Mind Control Tower’ reaches its gloriously Adolescents-esque coda. Maybe the pulverising crunch of ‘Burning Sky’ will cause your adrenaline to surge like a blindfold slalom down a vertical drop straight into a pool of lava. Ultimately, this record gathers ten tracks’ worth of thrills, spills and hundred-dollar bills, and the results make for one of the finest punk records of the year.

In all likelihood, you’ll know some dipshits who greeted the sinister rise of the right-wing in recent years with glib remarks like, ‘At least the punk songs will be good.’ At the time, you were correct to roll your eyes in response before returning to the serious business of plotting to overthrow the government - there were and are more important things at stake. Listening to Era Bleak, however, we may have to concede that those dipshits had a point. What a fucking band. – Will Fitzpatrick


I'll follow Candy (and everyone in this band) wherever they go and whatever band they're playing in, been listening to their records and seeing their shows since I moved to Puddletown back a million years ago, ringed into this store called Green Noise Records, and the original owner Ryder Greene was nice enough to scribble me a list of local bands I should always see, circled some so I understood, the Triggers (Dirtnap) where I first witnessed Candy at EJs or some place like that, and then Candy was in Sleepwalkers RIP and sometimes she would flip out and attack me and tackle me to the soggy floor because what the shit I had no shitting idea, that's my purse I don't know you, at first at least, but then I realized when she was drinking she was friendly as a maniac and always thought I was Joel Jett from Flip-Tops, etc., maybe because we were both bald-headed with big glasses and maybe because by that time me and Joel worked at Green Noise, and over the years, the people that ended up here in Era Bleak would show up kicking out the punk rock in so many bands at so many venues, I can hardly keep track, Piss Test, Dark/Light...and now here's the debut longplayer from Era Bleak, check it out!!!  -- winch (green Noise records)
ERA BLEAK (Dirt Cult Records)
"The band’s name is perfect for our times, as this era certainly is
bleak. As band member Zach Brooks put it, "The year is 2020 and we are
living in a 1980s punk dystopian sci-fi novel. A pandemic is raging.
When we are not donning masks to go out in public, we have nothing to do
besides smoke legal weed out of electronic cigarettes and lose ourselves
in disinformation. The president of the United States is Jello Biafra's
worst nightmare... a buffoon so grotesque we would have had a hard time
believing the character was realistic had our current reality actually
been a 1980s punk dystopian sci-fi novel.” And as the opening track,
from which the band takes their name, states, “Things get shittier every
week / No hope for the future in this era bleak.” The music matches the
sentiment, too, with a spare, austere sound. The instrumentation is
thin, the vocals belted out in a way that’s part spoken word, part
singing, and the whole thing feels like the soundtrack to a desolate
post apocalyptic punk rock world. Sometimes the guitars have an
interesting surf sound, like on “MRI,” one of my favorites of the LP.
It’s a twisted sort of surf sound, though, like trying to surf a wave of
dirt and trash in the ruins of a major city. “Option” has an urgent feel
to it, with the bass driving things hard and the tempo picked up
somewhat. It’s about the “panic stricken overload” we can get when faced
with too many options in our modern consumer society. “Robot” has a cool
mechanical rhythm and guitar line, with lyrics that are a call out to
people who have no originality and obey the dictates of society like
robots. Even with the minimalist instrumentation, Era Bleak manages to
have the energy of an 80s hardcore band, and the combination of hardcore
and sparseness make for an interesting sound. Era Bleak is the
soundtrack of today."

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