The face of punk seems ever changing. Just as it did in the transition of its original form to the lonely coldness of post-punk, the ugly head of punk is rearing in the futuristic direction of industrial rhythms and buzzing synthesizers. Such is evident in the morose, pounding thump of San Francisco punks Useless Eaters‘ new record, Relaxing Death, out June 3 on Castle Face.
The guitars and drums throw the familiar fists of punk disdain, while the keys are a looming presence, hovering over each track like a ghostly shadow. At times they appear in giant swells, while at others, they attack in single short-note staccato, and other times they twirl in mysterious arpeggios. The electronics add a rather autonomous element that echoes a certain deadening of self and society, like an audible replacement of everything human with everything machine. The downstroke of guitar and singer Seth Sutton’s effected vocals keep some of the warmth of life, reminding that humanity exists underneath it all. It’s like a punker version of when they start to realize there are bits of officer Alex J Murphy still exist under the metallic cyborg facade of Robocop.