Punk has pretty much always been rooted in some form of internal upheaval and ripping anxiety, but add external features like harrowing vocal reverb and howling guitars soloing, so much so that it dims the definition of genre, and the unease becomes overwhelming. Such is the case for NYC quintet Grim Streaker’s first single, “Guts.” An opening blast of instrumental and vocal power hurls a bucket of nails against a wall and you’re set on a frantic search to pick up every last one. The pace is no less than breakneck, yet between the melodious twang of the guitars and Amelia Busshell’s attitudinal, longing wails, there’s a humanity behind it all. The dust settles and you’re able to catch your breath long enough to recognize the song’s empathetic nature. The lyrics are founded in “I hate,” but not the kind of hatred being perpetuated by “President Agent Orange.” It’s a particular, situational frustration, almost personified in the befuddling whirlwind of so much sound, and relentlessly fought against and defied by Bushell, herself. The song’s title says it all. It does indeed take guts to admit one’s situation, and to attack it head-on, as Grim Streaker does.
Grim Streaker play Baby’s All Right Thursday, January 16 with Meat Wave (Chicago), and Weeping Icon. If you’re in or around NYC, don’t miss it.