Song of the Day

Scumfire, “Obsolete Man,” from Trash Film (Sore Ear Collective, 2021)

If ever I was to willfully rupture my eardrums, I can think of few ways more gleefully indulgent than by swallowing whole the discography of Sore Ear Collective. The ever-reliable Rochester-based label was able to make hay in spite of a pandemic induced drought, dropping a clutch of essential records in the interim.

Their latest is the forthcoming EP, Trash Film, from Buffalo’s Scumfire. On the strength of last year’s self-released 7 inch Emotionally Exhausted/Morally Bankrupt, the Song of the Day is lead single “Obsolete Man.” The track arrives in tandem with a stark video, a black and white nightmare vision as panic-inducing as grimy as the song itself. 

The song rides in violently, awash in a wall of piercing feedback and the slow build of increasingly speedy drum runs. Off the back of the intro comes a mighty sidewinder riff that snakes in and out around a roaring bass tone and chaotic vocals.

Almost immediately, there’s a hint of Every Time I Die’s enduring swagger and chaotic abandon. I’d imagine that influence is damn near a birthright that comes with the zip code, a welcomed osmosis to be sure. Scumfire’s brand of roaring hardcore leans heavily on an aggro but defiantly noise-drenched approach, calling to mind the off-time brilliance of Kiss It Goodbye.

There are unsettling moments that screech and ring, belying a band willing to go on walkabout, making their mid-period Daughters influence a bit less far afield. They fuck with song structure and damn near invert it altogether until the final half minute, which is a thirty second interval sprint of rampaging D-beat.

There’s always been something exhilarating about bands from upstate, a pent up antagonism that’s perhaps due to nor’easter isolation. Either way, Scumfire is set to help lead the charge of a burgeoning brood of hardcore bands from New York. Never has scraping the barrel of Rust Belt squalor sounded so good. 

Trash Film will be out soon via Sore Ear Collective.

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Tagged: scumfire

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