This – – – this right here – – – is what I’ve been waiting to hear and review for so long and just haven’t, as it almost never comes around, but for a band here or there *(specifically SOME KIND OF NIGHTMARE). This is refreshing Southern California dark punk rock at it’s best.
I discovered SEPO accidentally, really. Being a raging CANCERSLUG/ALEX STORY *(and yes, there will soon be a review of CANCERSLUG’s new album here amongst the Rosetta Bones) fan, I was intrigued to have found a series of recordings from a project consisting of both MITCH BATEMAN & ALEX STORY called ANTI-HUMAN MOVEMENT, which blew me away. Harsh and gritty songs about shitty day-to-day life and all that goes with it. Liking that particular ep as much as I did, I decided to check out SEPO, and I am sure the fukk glad I did.
Before I go into the album, a little history on frontman MITCH BATEMAN, as he does indeed have an impressive one. Over the years he has played in many a band and project, including THE BLACKOUTS, THE BROOD, AUGUSTINES CHAPEL, THE STALKERS, and THE STRIPPER KILLERS, as well as the above mentioned ANTI-HUMAN MOVEMENT. He’s also toured Europe *(though I am not sure with which band, honestly). Either way, that’s a long and impressive history of performance and dedication to one’s passion and craft.
What is found on this album are a series of catchy, classic, sonic blasters that absolutely beg to be PLAYED LOUD, much like all classic punk. But make no mistake, this is quite original material, and not some rehash of the classic SoCal punk of 30 years ago. Nor is it “pop-punk,” emo-esque in any way, Epitaphed *(those in the punk community will know what I mean by that), diluted down for the masses, or suffering from any of the other casualties and various maladies that have plagued most “punk” since the late 80’s. Aside from a handful of ok acts here and there, of corpse.
Of the songs on here, “Pariah” struck a certain chord with me instantly, a short song about becoming *(or more feeling like) the proverbial pariah, and the shit talkers who partake in such activities to induce said feelings. The back stabbers of the world; those who laugh behind your back, yet cower away when you turn and they see your eyes, fear your confrontation. The anthem “California” explodes from the speaker, a true and total classic about the Golden Lies of the Golden State, the chaos that runs the streets, the ruination of a land and lives by fracking *(at least that’s what I got out of it), and the shallow meaninglessness of, well, all of it. Probably my favorite track, followed by the slower, yet sicker, and just as truthful “The City,” a song about observation and participation, of knowing the dark places, sickened by the self-absorption one is forever surrounded by, and coping with it the only way one sometimes can – – – especially amongst the isolation of an overcrowded, greedy city where no one will even look anyone else in the eye. It’s a slower punk rock-n-roll anthem for the lonely and isolated, who are well acquainted with their own demons. It’s like a modern day take on IGGY POP’S “The Passenger,” only the inverse. Instead of seeing shining stars and lights, all that is to be found here are drugs, loneliness, devils, and blight. Most of these songs are deep bursts of modern truths backed by a classic, yet original, sound.
And speaking of sound, the recording quality is top notch. Not only that, but this contains one last little soo-prize, which would also account for the beautiful “old school” anthemic vibe and smooth sound of the album. It was produced by DAVE KLEIN, current drummer for AGENT ORANGE *(and a whole host of other bands, going as far back as THE GHASTLY ONES), whom also played bass for these sessions as well.
Being as this will be SEPO’S 3rd release, I’m a little ashamed I’ve not found them sooner (they’ve been around since 2012). But I sure as fukk am glad that I have *(wait, I used that phrase already – – – eh, fukk it), because this album really is, to my tastes, spectacular. So all of you deadbeats put the pipe down for a minute and BUY THIS FUKKING ALBUM.
Contact & more info on SEPO @
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org