Self Defense Family might appear a little strange to the uninitiated: a post-punk band that’s known by ten other names, currently comprised of sixteen members (last time we checked, anyway), and manages to comfortably release new material on a nearly bi-monthly basis. But conventionality hardly seems like a priority in Self Defense Family.
The band started as Albany-based side project End of a Year as far back as 2004 and have since released 14 EPs, six singles, five studio full lengths, and splits with bands like Tigers Jaw, Code Orange, Touche Amore, and most recently Creative Adult. The band’s catalog is vast, diverse, and full of surprises. And perhaps it only makes sense when the band’s line-up is constantly expanding and evolving: the people who wrote the song may not be the same people who recorded the song who may not be the same people playing the song live in front of you. It’s a weird concept but variety is indeed the spice of life.
Several days ago, the band released it’s newest EP: Superior. The record was promised to be Self Defense Family’s darkest material to date and as per usual, they didn’t disappoint. Superior’s dreary four tracks manage to drone on without ever being monotonous or dull. Instead, the record dances through an unpleasant blackness that you’ll still manage to nod your head to. Frontman (and comic book writer) Patrick Kindlon’s cynical prose guides the listener through a brief but begrudging experience that serves as a perfect companion for a frozen night spent on self-reflection (and loathing, potentially). Check out the opening track, “In Those Dark Satanic Mills” below:
Don’t let all of the brooding fool or scare you away; this is a good record by a great band whose honesty and energy is seldom found elsewhere. Self Defense Family is a band that you might have to sit with for a moment to soak entirely in but you’ll be glad you took the time afterwards. It’s a little naive to say that there’s “something for everybody” as the band clearly isn’t interested in catering to everyone. But Self Defense Family, like life, is full of ups and downs, tempo changes and mood swings, glorious sunrises and miserable nights. It’s not for anyone, but for those comfortable enough to pause and momentarily challenge their ears; Self Defense Family will compel you.
You can purchase Superior from Run For Cover here, receive film critiques and social commentary here, and ask the band for relationship advice here. Check here to find out if Self Defense Family is coming to a city near you! Let us know what you think of the band in the comments below.
Featured photo shot by KITAJGOROD, who you can support here.