Release Date: May 20, 2016
Record label: Votiv
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Like the eponymous dive-bomb of the album's title, the Brooklyn D.I.Y. punk quartet's third studio album, Kamikaze, is a crushing blast of old-school-punk hero worship. It's also the band's catchiest, most muscular, and most layered release. Almost a decade into their existence, the So So Glos have matured and tightened their execution, making Kamikaze a huge leap past their already 2014 breakthrough, Blowout.
It's tempting when scrolling through your newsfeed or even watching television these days to feel a little cynical and even jaded by the current state of affairs here in the U. S. , where racial tension, police violence, class warfare, and political strife are all on the rise and are steadily eroding the foundation of the country.
“Give me a reason to give a shit,” sings So So Glos frontman Levi Zaru (aka Aleksander) on his band’s latest full-length album, Kamikaze. It’s a challenge not easily met by the “pseudo journalists” he calls out on “Cadaver (Career Suicide)”, many of whom spend their days compiling ephemeral “Best Of” lists that divert the mind without offering much to chew on. But you don’t have to be a real journalist to recognize where Zaru is coming from.
Brooklynâ€™s The So So Glos have never shied away from rebellion and on Kamikaze, theyâ€™re downright pissed off. In a time when many of Brooklynâ€™s DIY venues are shutting down at an alarming rate, the group has every right to be concerned. Brooklyn has only gotten â€œcoolerâ€ since The Strokes askedIs This It. But screw that.
The So So Glos have always tied their identity to their native Brooklyn in a way few of their neighbors have. The band filled their 2013 breakout album Blowout with sketches of their borough’s streets, subways, skylines, and bodegas, guarding each reference with an insistence that in order to truly appreciate these things you had to have grown up there (as singer Alex Levine sees it, the city’s way of life is under constant threat from outsiders). More tangibly, the group’s members also co-founded two of Brooklyn’s big all-ages venues, Market Hotel and Shea Stadium.
On Kamikaze, Brooklyn punks the So So Glos maintain the scathing, tongue-in-cheek humour evident on their 2013 album Blowout, dedicating the entire record to exploring social media, narcissism and never ending to-do lists as the band wrap their 1970s punk-indebted anthems with slightly higher production values. "A. D.
Emma Johnston on the latest releases by Vanishing Life, Honeyblood, The So So Glos, The Empty Page and Super Unison Vanishing Life - Surveillance Walter Schreifels has never been one to rest on his laurels. Having kicked New York punk ass with Gorilla Biscuits, perfected post-hardcore with the kingly Quicksand and knocked radio-friendly alt.rock out of the park with Rival Schools, he’s back with this supergroup (of sorts) featuring members of Rise Against, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Bad Religion. If you find overachievers irritating, look away now, cos the bugger’s only gone and done it again.