“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately…and frankly, I’m sick of it.”
A sentiment I’m sure that we can all empathize with in these dreadfully long, all-the-more-time-for-existential-contemplation summer days.
It’s Lana with a Denton DIY band that I’m REALLY FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT. One of those bands I want to wave around like that hand-me-down bomber coat I got from a coworker, with inheritable patches praising environmental sustainability and community squaredancing, passing down time-specific stories with timelessly customizable sentiment.
So first of all-where exactly is Denton? Don’t be shy, even I, the resident American isn’t too sure (Texas is a big place, you know). (Relatively) nearby to Dallas, Denton, TX is host to a thriving DIY punk scene, largely spurred by its University of North Texas student population. In fact, Parquet Courts’ lead singer Andrew Savage made his first mosh-inciting music in Denton, playing in an array of bands as well as starting a label with Chris Pickering of Teenage Cool Kids. Though the past couple years may have brought gentle winds of change, the scene still largely remains to be the tight-knit single-gendered community, as evinced by the largely white male-dominated band composition. Yet, this is not at all to say that these bands are ignorant in their message: while cultural composition is susceptible to a wealth of external factors and therefore quite difficult for one movement (let alone one band) to change on its own, artistic integrity and social-change-oriented lyricism is tangibly evident within Denton’s punk scene, and veritably chips away at traditional stagnancy, thereby forming the groundwork for cultural change.
Stepping back from this higher-order ethical discussion, let us turn to the band that spurred this post and to the album which I am wildly excited about, which does indeed make progressive jabs at, for instance, everyday commercialism. Although I’ve not been to Denton myself, it’s clear from social media snippets that sexual jeremy‘s live DIY presence is central to the band’s vitality; even their current month-long tour features a new city every day for a total of 25 back-to-back shows…not to mention the tacit travel coupled with each new city. Despite the undeniably affectual visual/tactile physicality devoid from a sonically-tethered studio release, the trio encapsulates their self-ascribed sentimental sound quite deliciously in their first studio album, CHUCK WEEKEND.
Combatting the repressing of emotions riddling many “boy’s club” communities, sexual jeremy’s release is littered with tearful sniffs, with nervous impatience, with explosive rage. Its bandcamp-codified lyrics speak of a shameless overconsumption, systematized animal cruelty, and depressive dread for real life condensed in wildly emotive vocal performance. The band’s instrumentation is absolutely magnificent, full of heightened emotion illustrated through extreme technical proficiency: the twinkling-schizophrenic guitar improvisation of “Clown,” the bustling three-part counterpoint of “Somebody,” the Manuela Blackburn-esque gestures of “Dripping Yellow Madness”; even the endearing dog bark tastefully inserted in the album’s final minute. An internal battle of stripped-down, sometimes even silent rawness and maximal-output aggressiveness is evinced by the ebbs and flows of expressivity in relation to a repeated pervasive phrase: for example in “Big Monday Burger,” where lead singer anxiously laments “whose hands are clean, not me…but believe me, i care” over his uncleansable personal guilt of schematized, destructive selfish consumption. This thoroughly thoughtful, flesh-exhumingly raw record showcases a considerately disconcerting truthfulness to Denton DIY, casting forth yes-waves of social change amongst an often unforgiving political majority. So too, does it makes one crave sexual jeremy’s undoubtedly arresting live incarnation, to restlessly OCD-check their Facebook page for their amorphously dated upcoming split with Dead Time.
Listen to sexual jeremy’s 2017 release CHUCK WEEKEND and catch them on their whopping tour through 2nd July.