Remember in the Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It” video when that totally feral dad played by Neidermeyer from Animal House screams at his preteen son, “What do you want to do with your life?” and the spawn replies “I wanna rock” and the first chord the kid hits sends his dad flying out the window and rocking commences?
Of course you do.
I don’t exactly want to call the twisty, smart, enlivening, and all around killer debut from post-hardcore expanders Strangelight the Grendel to Dee Snider’s 1894 Beowulf, but, much like John Gardner helping us better understand the monster by shifting the story to its perspective, Adult Themes rather brilliantly refracts the beauty and tension of keeping your fret-hand in the underground culture of your youth while dealing with the (well, for non-crust punks, anyway) inevitable evolutions and challenges of “grown up” life. Hence, the juxtaposition of song titles such as “The Samsara of Secondary Markets,” “Object Permanence,” “Gold Rolex,” “Adjustable Rate,” and “Alienation Part 2” with a sonic attack that combines the best aspects of the members other bands (Transistor Transistor, Kowloon Walled City, True Cross) with a extremely welcome and heavy dose of Propagandhi and Hot Snakes-esque rock n’ roll perversion.
Maybe there’s some empathy to be had for Neidermeyer after all?
Anyway, Adult Themes a real contender for punk hardcore album of the year, which is why it’s such a pleasure to exclusively premiere the track “Digressions from Sierra Leone” a month ahead of the album’s October 23 release date. (Preorder here.)
“[Digressions from Sierra Leone] is about musicians, actors, celebrities, whoever, benefiting from ‘bringing attention’ to an issue while not really doing anything to help it, if not benefiting from its underlying causes — and the irony of how the issue helps out the artist in question more than vice versa,” vocalist/guitarist Nat Coghlan tells Decibel. “It was written over ten years ago, before I even had a smartphone. So it’s really more of a cynical observation than a topical one. When we started working on the song again I thought about writing new lyrics, but if anything they were more applicable than when they were written. I am also very, very lazy.”