So Stressed, “Merv King & The Phantoms”

JP Basileo

The shaping of a record takes time and patience, enough so that entire songs can be thrown out and begun again from a clean slate if emotive and strident excellence is not achieved. At least such is the case for The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art, a new LP from Sacramento’s So Stressed—the first signee on Meredith Graves’ new label, Honor Press—which took over two years to write. Due May 26, the post-hardcore trio just released the single “Merv King & The Phantoms”, a blistering three-chord tumult that only builds in asphyxiating tension in its brief drum interludes, and smashes bricks through the windshield of your ears with its pummeling full-forced thrusts of rhythm.

The entire one minute and forty-one seconds is an audio equivalent of a panic attack, instilling notions of fear and frustration in every chord struck, every drum hit, and every one of frontmant Morgan Fox’s lyrics howled—culminating in his blood-curdling, “I’m shaking, I’m shaking!” A disgusting mud-coated dagger of a tone erupts on top of the already chaotic landscape, entering with sudden jabs, in counts of three, just before the song’s final drum fill and fade-out. “Merv King” acts as an introduction to both a record and a label expectedly filled with the sonic fury and artistic conception one would only presume Meredith Graves to curate.

So Stressed’s The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art is out May 26 on Honor Press.

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