Punch – “Push Pull”

Punch is:

1)  From San Francisco
2)  Fronted by a chick
3)  Pure hardcore

The truth is, I’m not entirely sure what to make of this album.  I mean, I’ve heard some “classic” hardcore (god help us if “classic hardcore” really becomes a genre), but this takes things to a whole different place.  It’s a grinding growlfest.  Supposedly the lead singer (screamer… growler…) is a woman.  But frankly I can’t tell.  It sounds like she’s swallowed the microphone and is screaming at me from somewhere inside her small intestine.  It’s intense in the same way getting a root canal from some guy you met at the Circle K, while hurtling down a dirt road at 85 mph in the back of a van with no windows after chugging six energy drinks and chasing them with half a fifth of the cheapest shit you can buy is intense.  Except without the boozy numbness.


I picked up this bad boy (actually four “bad” guys and an angry woman) on a lark at Easy Street records the other day.  I made the trip downtown after reading earlier in the week that this Easy Street location was closing down permanently later this month.  It was a sort of a pilgrimage/homage, and based on the number of people there, I wasn’t the only one feeling nostalgic for a store that was about to close.  Push Pull was in the New Arrival bin, and since it was punk on grey vinyl (allegedly only 250 copies on this color), I figured what the hell.  And wow.  It’s intense, as I previously mentioned.  Intense like running a gauntlet barefoot across broken glass while people throw rocks and hyper zombies rip at your flesh, with a pack of rabid raccoons chasing you.  Except without the charm.

Punch was too much for me, at least on my first listen.  Probably too hard, too intense, too hardcore thrash for a spreadsheet jockey, part-time blogger, and 40-something Led Zeppelin fan.  But I do like that it’s different, and out there, and that the band is going after their sound.  Like bats out of hell.  Covered in napalm.  And pissed.

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