Earlier this year, I wrote a bit about the Austin, TX-based trio Exhalants, and as you may recall, the band which features Steve (guitar, vocals), Bill (bass) and Body Pressure’s Tommy (drums), can trace its origins to the breakup of Steve’s and Bill’s previous band Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes. As the story goes, with the inevitably downtime that’s a result of a band’s breakup, Steve wound up spending his free time further honing his guitar playing before he recruited his former CSSS bandmate and Tommy to complete the project’s lineup.
Released earlier this year, the band’s self-titled full-length debt was recorded and mixed by Ghetto Ghouls‘ Ian Rundell and mastered by Yeesh’s Greg Obis, and the albums largely inspired by Shellac, Unwound and Cherubs, while nodding at the work of contemporaries like Melkbelly, Kal Marks and A Deer A Horse — or in other words, much like those bands, the album finds the band balancing pummeling and bruising heaviness with an underlining melodic sensibility. Interestingly, album single “Punishers” is an aptly titled, furious, abrasive and — well, punishing ripper centered by enormous power chords, wild peals of feedback and pummeling drumming. Sonically speaking, the song is a mosh pit-friendly anthemic that should be played way too loudly in a dark, sweaty room.
Unsurprisingly, the recently released video for “Punishers” will bring 120 Minutes-era MTV to mind, as its an equally pushing visual, consisting of warped, distorted VHS footage — and while old-timey, it manages to evoke the terror and fury of our time.