The last week or so hasn’t exactly been full of victory formations if you’re one of those battling against fascism and absolute power, hoping the people you voted to elect were going to somehow do something right for a change. Everything boils down to money and control, hardly a new revelation, and it feels like there’s no real way out of this box.
Yet, that’s a defeatist attitude. Yeah, the deck is stacked, and we need a whole lot of things to turn our way before that power finally corrupts, but shit’s not over by a long shot. In this time, finding allies can be a great source of hope, and San Diego death metal trio Putrescine just might be the shot in the arm you need to get through. Their debut EP “The One Reborn” was released independently in August, but Tridroid Records has come through with a cassette release of this monster, compete with bonus content that makes the presentation even heftier. Putrescine’s brand of death is driving, monstrous, and to the point, and their antifascist views only serve to make them another deadly weapon in the battle against tyranny. Here, the band—Marie McAuliffe (vocals, drum programming), Trevor Van Hook (guitars, vocals), Zachary Sanders (guitars, bass)—tackles issues such as climate change, anti-vaxxers, and, yes, every metal band’s favorite subject (and for damn good reason) Bloodborne on an eight-track package that’ll cave in your skull.
“Child Size Coffins” opens by smashing its way in and delivering vintage-style leads that sound like they transcend the ages. Speaking of things that wormed their way through time, we’re talking pestilence here and people’s outright refusal to believe science. McAuliffe and Van Hook trade off vocals here, as they do throughout the record, giving it a pretty cool balance, and the howls of, “Diseases long eliminated wreaking havoc for no fucking reason, advancement condemned by idiots, ignorance becomes fatal,” deliver the guttural point. “Homestead” hits really close to where I live as it revolves around a labor dispute in my neck of the woods turned deadly in July of 1892. The track pounds away and leaves bruising, viciously thrashing its way through, while the basslines recoil. Soloing sprays shrapnel as the playing smears the blood while the leads swim, and the shout of, “Organized labor will not break, bring Carnegie to his knees,” works as a rallying cry.
“The One Reborn” arrives with fluttering leads and tales of the Pthumerian experiment failing. I’m turning on my PlayStation after this, by the way, I’m so worked up. Wild howls and growls create destruction together, while meaty riffs help bring the track to a monstrous finish. “Inhuman” strikes against superpower supremacy and its effects on smaller nations, and the track begins with a clip of House member Ilhan Omar (D., MN) destroying Elliott Abrams over the El Salvador massacre in 1982. The track rips with the same disgust and intensity, mowing down the elite with savagery, while warped paces turn your eyes in your head. “Entropy” has guitars sweltering and punchy riffs tearing open the belly of the song, while satisfying crunch pumps your blood as the song examines our fragility in the universe and the way we are ushering in our own end. The use a section of a Carl Sagan quote to wrap this up, with him warning, “The trap door beneath our feet swings open,” speaks to our fatal mistakes and lack of hope of correcting them. The bonus material contains an industrial-overhauled version of “dS_0” that bathes in synthy scum, while demo version of “Child Size Coffins” and “Inhuman” give you a taste of their raw earlier forms.
There’s a major fight ahead here in the States the next 9-10 months, and while smart, tactical movements as well as a swell of enthusiasm for the cause are bound to be the proper medicine, let’s not totally kick rage and chaos off the agenda. Putrescine’s music can be a perfect companion, and while they might not completely be aiming at governmental leadership on “The One Reborn,” it’s pretty safe to assume they’re in the camp of people lashing back. This is a smashing first effort that hopefully has a full-length serving not too far behind.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Putrescine-464280534319064/
To buy the album, go here: https://tridroid.bandcamp.com/album/the-one-reborn
For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TridroidRecords/