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So Stressed – “The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art”

So Stressed’s album “The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art” is out now on Honor Press.

Honor Press, by the way, is the label founded by Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves. And like Perfect Pussy, So Stressed is hitting us with some hardcore punk, straight to the point with no extra filler.

That isn’t to say that So Stressed can’t change things up a little too. Their rhythm section is pretty insane, actually. Take a listen to “Apple Hill,” for example. The way the drums stretch out the phrases, playing with the time, giving the song a malleability and looseness that eschews the more or less traditional 4-on-the-floor punk backbone. Sure, the song starts out simply enough, but even the guitars have a few tricks up their sleeves right from the outset. The riff seems to dodge all expectations, tracing a pretty jagged path that refuses to fit in any typical harmonic or rhythmic structure. This is a pretty finely crafted tune.

The entire album crashes in like a whirlwind, refusing to let up for even a second. “Sleep Wave,” coming in toward the end of the album gets close to anthemic with it’s shouts of “there is nothing out here for you anymore!” that somehow manage to come through across the top of some serious guitar feedback and the, by this time, expected pummeling of the drums. Every track is a multi-layered affair, demanding multiple listens to pick up on all the tiny details etched into the album. “Covered in Hair” even wanders into some pretty experimental territory, breaking away from the non-stop aural assault in order to explore some new sounds and ambience for a few minutes.

The video below is for the first single off the album “Merv King & The Phantoms,” a song that makes the most of its minute and forty second playing time, packing enough energy and ideas to fill a song three times as long. These dudes are definitely jamming econo. Check out the video, and head over to Honor Press to order the album immediately. The album is available in a variety of beautifully packaged formats (LP/limited edition clear LP/Cassette/CD/Digital Download).

“The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art” is quite the statement for not only the band, but for Honor Press. What a great way to start a label. Here’s to hoping for many more like this.

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