Personality Cult – New Arrows – New LP
pressing of 170:
Please welcome Personality Cult to the Dirtnap Records roster!
What started as a solo project for North Carolina’s Ben Carr has evolved into a full-band supergroup of sorts, featuring past and present members of Paint Fumes, Last Year’s Men, Natural Causes, Bass Drum Of Death, Missing Pages, Mind Spiders, Sweet Talk, Sweet Knives, and probably a bunch more that we’re forgetting about!
Dirtnap Records was tipped off to this monster of an album by Jeff Burke (Radioactivity/Marked Men) as he was recording it a few months back in NYC. Soon after the sessions, Carr and Burke began trading the earliest mixes of the album with Carr recording all of the overdubs during and after his shifts at Wilmington, North Carolina’s flagship record shop, Gravity Records. After a single listen to the finished product, we were tripping over ourselves to immediately get ahold of the band and offer to put the record out. Seriously, it’s THAT good!
Fast propulsive punk with hooks for days, and dark undercurrents swirling underneath. While sonically this doesn’t fall too far from what you’d associate with many beloved Dirtnap bands of the past, these guys really nail the delicate balance of taking a familiar sound and putting their own unique spin on it, in the end sounding like nothing but themselves.
Following a s/t LP on Drunken Sailor Records, Personality Cult will release their Dirtnap debut (and debut as a full band) “New Arrows” on February 15th, 2020. This is the best new band we’ve heard in awhile, so do take note.
Propulsive punk rock is hardly new ground for Ben Carr.
And while the bands Carr is best known for -- Last Year’s Men, Paint Fumes and Natural Causes -- all existed in slightly different subgenres, the backbone of his music is always comprised of the same core ethos. That is to say, highly charged punk rooted in hardcore, though always with a wink and nod to some of indie rock’s more melodic forebears.
Carr began creating music under the Personality Cult moniker alone, crafting the band’s eponymous 2018 debut by himself before a group even existed. For that set, Carr not only wrote all of the songs, but he performed nearly everything himself, with longtime bandmate Ian Rose taking over drums and helping with recording duties.
Upon the debut’s release, Carr tapped local musicians Colin Sneed on drums (Bass Drum of Death), Johnny Valiant on bass (Sweet Knives) and recent Austin-to-Durham transplant Stephen Svacina on guitar (Missing Pages, Sweet Talk) making Personality Cult a ferocious and vital live entity, as they began playing around North Carolina’s Triangle and undertaking tours up and down the East Coast.
In addition to booking shows for the new band, Carr also began immediately writing the songs and tracking the demos that would become their follow-up, New Arrows, which will see release in February 2020 on seminal punk label Dirtnap Records. Armed with a host of new songs, the group decamped to a practice space in Brooklyn where they recorded the nine-song set directly to tape with engineer Jeff Burke. (Radioactivity/Marked Men)
Soon after the sessions, Carr and Burke began trading the earliest mixes of the album with Carr recording all of the overdubs during and after his shifts at Wilmington, North Carolina’s flagship record shop, Gravity Records.
Produced by Carr and mixed by Burke, New Arrows exists somewhere near the center of the punk amalgam created by Hüsker Dü, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks and The Adverts, while possessing plenty of the sugary melodic knack made legendary by bands like Devo, Big Star and Cheap Trick.
And though it stays true to Carr’s now-trademark of high-energy, driving punk, New Arrows adds a new section to the songwriter’s resume. A record that is at once insightful yet cheeky, driving but hooky, and super fun while being incredibly caustic and undeniably thought-provoking, New Arrows is the sound of a solo project becoming a band before our eyes, of a one-man-operation unfolding and evolving in real-time.
Engineered by Jeff Burke (Marked Men/Radioactivity.
Touring following release, including appearance at Dirtnap Records 20 Year Anniversary Fest.
Comes with 320 kps download coupon.
North Carolina punk rock supergroup.
Artist: Personality Cult
Title: New Arrows
Street Date: 02/14/2020
Catalog Number: ZZZ-162
1. Nothing To Do With It
2. Weigh Down
3. Pressure Point
6. Sharp Edges
8. Dissolve You