Tuesday, January 16, 2024

EP Review: Sewage "Punk Not DeAd" (Solid Bass Records) by Dave Wolff

Band: Sewage
Location: Manhattan, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Punk
EP: Punk Not DeAd
Format: Vinyl
Release date: January 15, 2024
I've said that one benefit of social media is it has helped punk become more socially and politically aware since people can share information that you usually wouldn’t be able to watch. While this is still so, there are still people who are concerned with social media interaction replacing physical contact between people. As Sewage has always been outspoken about what they see around them, they address this ongoing issue with a vengeance on their new EP “Punk Not DeAd”.
Anyone who knows the band since their inception knows they don’t lash out at society for the sake of lashing out at society. The issues they address are real concerns: the homeless problem, police corruption, corporate greed, complacency in the local punk scene and so forth. So when setting their sights on social media it’s no case of crackpot conspiracy theory or a knee jerk “I hate technology”. It’s the misuse of technology and its possible repercussions on people, going by facts and research.
Of course what I’m referring to is the track “The Social Media Suite” which expresses their sentiments on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch and TikTok. I gather it’s an expression directed at social media because the attack is sudden and thorough, and put across in the context of someone who still goes out to see a local show rather than filming and uploading it. A similar sentiment about selfie obsessed web surfers, as I remember, was made by Sick Of It All with “Self Important Shithead” from “Wake The Sleeping Dragon!”, a song that made you laugh and think at the same time.
This is Sewage's first release featuring electro club remixes, such as what you would hear at clubs like Pyramid on the lower east side and Alphabet City. I am starting to become nostalgic, probably because I can see how closely the band, while widening their range and touring several US cities, has remained in touch with where they came from and remained relevant to their environment. Michelle Shocked, esteemed musician and political protestor, also joins the band on bass and backing vocals.
As much outrage as social satire, Sewage has demonstrated remarkable staying power by putting what is going on in their community on record for you to consider or ignore, with as much wry humor and classic punk aggression. Despite the passing of time, they have maintained that spirit and play the songs on this EP as if they were channeling public protests regarding the issues mentioned above through their musicianship, with such intensity that you can feel their passion. Keeping longtime supporters around and attracting new ones is a result of their honesty in doing so. –Dave Wolff

Spike Polite: Vocals, guitar
Michelle Shocked: Bass, vocals
Tony Romero: Guitar
John Pannikar: (Beast) Drums

Track list:
1. What Happened To The Punk Rock (Rock version)
2. Florida (Rock version)
3. The Social Media Suite
4. Punk Not Dead (Electronic Club Remix by XnormL & Les Techno Radio Edit)
5. Punk Not Dead (The Full Edit)
6. Florida (Electronic Club Remix by XnormL & Les Techno)

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