Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: 1st February
For Fans Off: Turnstile, At The Drive-In, Fugazi
Over the last few years it feels like hardcore bands have become more willing to take a step into the strange. As a result, this is perhaps the most exciting the genre has been for a while. On one end of the spectrum you have Code Orange with their huge industrial-metal bangers, and on the other the almost day-glo brightness of Turnstile: bands who push boundaries while still playing with the same frantic purpose of the scenes that birthed them. With their second album, Connecticut’s Perennial look to be showing that same experimental edge.
Blending jazz drumming, elements of funk, electronica and even sixties soul, the band manage to compress it all down into mostly sub-two minute tracks which bristle with energy. Even from the opening bars of ‘The Skeleton Dance’, they immediately set themselves apart leaning heavily into their art-rock side before sprinting off into the more usual discordant, chaotic route that you might expect. Don’t get too comfortable though, as Perennial keep the curveballs coming and never linger too long in one place.
‘Lauren Bacall In Blue’ crams so many different ideas into just 120 seconds, taking inspiration from slam-poetry, toying with ever-shifting rhythms and even throwing in some brass for good measure. On paper it sounds like an absolute mess, but it’s just about held together and never loses sight of the punk-rock core. Along with sounding completely fresh, it means that this music also feels like it has that dangerous edge that sometimes feels as though it has disappeared. The only time the pace drops is with ‘Hey Eurydice’, an ambient electronica interlude that just about allows you to gather your breath ahead of the non-stop onslaught of the second half.
At only twenty minutes long, it’s so easy to stick this record on repeat again and again, and due to the frankly weird mix of sounds, despite not being as dense as some bands, there’s always something new to pick out and latch on to. Taking as much influence from Arthur Brown as they do Minor Threat, Perennial mark themselves out as something truly unique. For some it may all be a little too unfocused but despite this the band still manage to carve out some cracking punk songs.
Recommended Track: ‘Tooth Plus Claw’