New Mexican Disaster Squad
New Mexican Disaster Squad
It may sound pathetic, boring and even bleak for those in their twenties (I’m 27 by the way), but I’m too old to go to punk shows. I’m easily annoyed by the cigarette smoke, the rude teenagers, uppity scenesters, the inability of the bands to take the stage “on time,” the out-of-tuned guitars…I could go on.
I usually choose to experience my punk rock from the comforts and confines of my home, with one of my two cats curled beside me.
Yeah, not very punk rock, I know! I lost touch with the joy of punk years ago, I suppose. The rebellion and the “fuck you” seeped from me as I finished university, found a “real” job, got married… until recently. About a month ago, I was perusing the bins at a local record store and came across Abrasive Repulsive Disorder, the first full-length album by Orlando hardcore band New Mexican Disaster Squad. And this album parted the cloud of crappy pop music and the incessant sentimentality of emo that was filling my brain at the time, and thrust me right back to “1983,” the heyday of DC hardcore, and the first song on Abrasive. It was an immediate coarse strike of Minor Threat and SOA.
Just what I needed.
After that first blast, Abrasive continued to transport me to an earlier time, a time when I wouldn’t think twice about going to a show, a time when “home” was not easily defined, a time when I’d prefer to flay wildly in the pit, releasing whatever demon I needed dispelled.
I learned, too, around this time, about NMDS’ July CD release party for their second full-length. This one, self-titled and released on A-F Records — home to punk legends Anti-Flag.
Walking away with the brutal honesty of their live show and with a copy of their CD, I decided to drive around town absorbing what I had just experienced, playing their new album from beginning to end — then beginning to end again.
Just for kicks I drove around some of Orlando’s toniest neighborhoods — College Park, Winter Park, Delaney Park (why do they all end in Park?) — with my windows down, blasting NMDS, thrusting my fists along with their punk rock anthems. It was quite fun watching the yellow glow of lights flicker on as I drove by.
Just as Abrasive made me reconsider my punk rock past, their newest release awakened me to what four men can do with guitars, a microphone, a drum kit and passion.
Although grounded in DC hardcore, their second full-length leaves the confines of the East and embarks on a punk journey everyone should take with them.
By fusing hardcore’s brutal energy and ferociousness (“You’re Incorrect, ” “Counterfeit II,” and bonus track, “Secret”) with tinges of a pop melody (“Tax Return”) they’ve pushed the boundaries and have delivered a brilliant, progressive album.
NMDS even touch on common subjects like media conglomeration (“Fuck the Oscars” and “Fun Box”), censorship (“Eavesdrop Word Cop”) and injustice (“Vultures”) without being over-the-top or preachy.
The energy they display on their albums transfers into their live shows as well. With all this in mind, even though I still feel too old, and am unable to tolerate many of the things I once did, I can ease out of my faux-Lazy Boy and experience the NMDS.
New Mexican Disaster Squad: http://www.newmexicandisastersquad.com/