Friday, February 20, 2015

S.B.S.M. - "Bitter Ends" - Tape - 2014

   There's this thing that happens when you live in town long enough where everyone just assumes that you know everyone. This isn't true. I started hearing about S.B.S.M. around town. When I asked some friends about the band, they would just say "Oh, you know's (these people) and they played that show at (venue I've never heard of) with (that one band everyone cares about but somehow I've never heard of them)" Well, it turns out that I work with a member of S.B.S.M. Oops.
   When I finally tracked down S.B.S.M., they were playing in a tiny basement in West Oakland. Their loud, cacophonous mess of sound was almost overwhelming in a way I haven't felt locally in a long time. The thing that really drew me to them, besides the fact that I was into their music, is that even though it's completely obvious that the three people in this band are very serious about what they do, they don't let that stop them from laughing it off when their broken equipment shorts out mid-song. One of them will use that as an opportunity to explain the song or tell you about an upcoming protest or talk about why they're playing that particular benefit show while the other members change out cables, tear apart wires and try to figure out what the fuck went wrong. And this is all so refreshing for me because I feel like we have entered a stage of punk (and this is just my perspective) where so many bands are trying to be perfect recreations of bygone eras or they're afraid to go out on limbs or they're trying to pose just right for that Instagram photo or whatever the fuck it is that people do. Many bands don't discuss their politics anymore or don't have any politics to speak of whatsoever, but when the whole fucking world is falling apart and there are rape apologists (and rapists) in your audience and cops are killing all the brown people they can possibly get away with and you feel like you're just gonna explode because you can't fucking take it anymore...just fucking talk about it!! Or just take your place in line (or the barstool) next to all the other soulless hardcore bands.

   The other reason I like them is that when they play the last part of ":Godzilla" live, it sounds like 30 bombs going off in a haunted castle nestled in a nightmare world.

They're recording a new tape soon. 

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