Over the years, I’ve written a bit about the Whittier, CA-based 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 in a short period of time, the members of Plague Vendor developed a reputation for frenetic and raucous live sets. Naturally, as a result of their reputation they played an increasing number of shows, and along with that they had begun to write an increasing batch of material. Those early live shows lead to 2014’s debut album debut Free to Eat, an album that has been 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. Up until recently, two years had passed without any original material from the members of Plague Vendor; but before joining renowned producer John Congleton to begin work on their untitled third album, the members of Plague Vendor, along with Brett Gurewitz and engineer Morgan Stratton entered Sunset Sound Studio 2, where they spent a furious two days writing, completing and recording two songs in two days — the first single was the anxious, raw and stomping “I Only Speak in Fiction.” As the band’s Luke Perine explained in press notes at the time, the writing and recording of “I Only Speak in Fiction” helped revitalize the band and restore their focus. “As a band, we grow anxious—often depressed to some degree—during our downtime,” Perine said in press notes. “Having these two days to get in the studio ahead of working on the next album released a lot of that tension. It became a more productive two days than we expected, as we were only planning on recording one song. I think we are reaching a higher level of focus together as we go into this next album.”
The breakneck “Locomotive,” Plague Vendor’s latest single was recorded during the “I Only Speak in Friction” sessions, and track is centered by rapid fire four-on-the-floor drumming, brooding guitar chords, a chugging bass line, a mosh pit friendly hook and Blaine’s vocals, which shift from crooning to manic howling — and while the song possesses a primal and furious energy at its core, the new single reveals a band that has grown increasingly confident in their songwriting and approach, decidedly expanding upon the sound that has won them attention.
The accompanying video captures the band at their best — live, frenetic, furious and downright rousing.