Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Whittier, CA-based post-punk/ punk rock quartet Plague Vendor. And as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Brandon Blaine (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass) and Jay Rogers (guitar) formed back in 2009, and within a relatively short time, the band quickly developed a reputation for frenetic and raucous live sets. And as a result of that reputation, they began playing an increasing number of live shows in the area — and those early shows helped lead to 2014’s debut album, Free to Eat, an album that some critics have described as terse, dark and thrashing post-punk.
2016’s Stuart Sikes-produced sophomore effort Bloodsweat landed at number 2 on this site’s Best of List, and from album singles “ISUA (I Stay Up Anyway)“, “Jezebel” and “No Bounty,” the album was full of frenetic, furious and anthemic punk performed with a blistering and undeniable swagger. Interestingly, two years or so passed before the members of the band released two singles, “I Only Speak in Fiction,” and “Locomotive,” which were recorded with Epitaph Records’ head and Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz and Morgan Stratton that served as a way to help revitalize the band and restore their focus — before joining renowned producer John Congleton, who would helm the sessions that would eventually result in the band’s forthcoming third album, By Night.
While reportedly, the album is a return-to-form for the Whittier-based punk act, the album’s first single “New Comedown,” is a furious and explosive roar of a song, centered around a propulsive New Wave-like rhythm section, complete with thunderous drumming and a forcefully chugging bass line, layers power chords, and a mosh pit-friendly hook paired with Blaine’s howled vocals. Similar to the material recorded with Gurewitz and Stratton, “New Comedown” features some of the most confident and self-assured songwriting and playing of their growing catalog, making it arguably one of the best rock songs I’ve heard this year.
The recently released Dan Monick-directed video for the new single features intimate close ups the band performing the song in the studio, with explosive strobe-lit sequences that captures the frenetic and passionate energy of the band’s live set.