Track Premiere: Tension Span – “Problem People”

When you see the pedigree of this newly formed Bay Area trio, Tension Span, the obvious conclusion would be that this is some serious doom/sludge. After all we have current Neurosis keyboardist/vocalist Noah Landis, ex-Dystopia guitarist Matt Parrillo and ex-Asunder guitarist Geoff Evans, all well-steeped in the sludgy/crusty underbelly of metal. However, Tension Span actually channel that same vibe into something a little musically different, drawing from early punk, post-punk and hardcore influences instead on the new track, “Problem People.”

“Problem People” is the new single from the band’s debut full-length, The Future Died Yesterday, and is a short-sharp-shock of scuzzy/noisy/crusty punk with a simple propulsive rhythm, tension-laden guitars and distorted vocals. It sounds like something straight out of 1979 or ’80, when lyrics with a message were just as important as the accompanying music. The Future Died Yesterday was recorded by the band and mixed by Landis, then mastered by Bob Weston and Greg Obis at Chicago Mastering Service. It’s set for release on September 30 on Neurot Recordings and will be available on vinyl and digitally. The LP jackets are screen-printed in black and white on thick chipboard stock and feature a three-panel foldover cover. You can place your preorders at the label webshop here and the band’s Bandcamp page here.

Here’s what Landis had to say about the new track:

“From 1985 to 1990 I was singing and playing in the band Christ On Parade, an Oakland punk band with a lot of love for the early anarcho bands of that time. Subhumans were a big influence on what I was writing lyrically, no bullshit, powerful truth-based thoughts about the fucked-up world we are stuck in. Last year when we started Tension Span, I went through old notebooks and I found the lyrics I had written for this song ‘Problem People.’ This was probably the last I wrote for the band, but we broke up before it was ever recorded or performed. Working with the rough tracks from Mauz and Geoff, the music had the driving intense energy and tempo that fit with words like a perfect puzzle. I would say a lot of the songs on this album are pretty thoughtful and perhaps more complex in their message and meaning, so this one stands out as simple, straightforward but still as real and relevant today as it was when I wrote it.”