Anger is an essential emotion in music. Without it, we would not have the likes of Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, or any metal, for that matter. This vital, natural feeling helps to convey the struggles of many that some would otherwise never observe. It serves for many as catharsis. People, a hardcore punk rock band out of Kennesaw, bring just that type of visceral emotion to their debut EP, 'Sorry, Mom and Dad'. Track after track, Ethan Farist, the band's lead, screams his agenda and emotion onto the backing of distorted, grungy guitars and crash-heavy drums. This process yields a product that is fantastically angry and honest.
'Sorry, Mom and Dad' features classic-punk teenage trials such as being emotionally horny and having 'Shitty Sex'. Thus, Farist takes the opportunity in the album's title to apologize preemptively to his parents. Adolescence and puberty brings about many awful side-effects with the changing of one's brain chemistry. Hormones fester and teenagers often act rebelliously. This record voices a lot of those adolescent urges and thoughts. Opening up with a confession-style cut entitled 'White Trash Manifesto', Farist fesses up to what he sees as his own identity. "Going to Wal-Mart and hanging out at Taco Bell" is what he equates to white trash behavior. He does not blame his parents, but rather takes full ownership of his behavior and personality. This type of stance is taken frequently by hardcore bands such as Bad Brains, whose graphic tee Farist sports in the 'Sad and Horny' music video. The chorus of this 'Manifesto' is especially catchy and danceable.
Next on the record, 'Human Nature' and 'Shitty Sex' tie together more teenage angst, but are not as easy of a listen as the record at its close. 'Wicked and Despicable' and 'Sad and Horny' are two extremely tight cuts. The first throws heavily undirected hatred at some entity that I like to believe is ISIS because of the line "Now you're cutting people's heads off on national television" like the Islamic State has done on numerous occasions. However, this could be a stab at our own national defense system. 'Sad and Horny' brings the best lyrics on the record to realization. The connections made between the heart and dick are ingeniously crafty. Lines like "I've got the blues in my heart and the blues in my balls" and "it's all heartaches and hard-ons and heartaches and hard-ons..." made me chuckle at first, but are actually quite real. As common of a behavior as this is in male teenagers, Farist says it best.
Seeing People perform live is one of the best moshing experiences one can get at an underground punk show in Atlanta. Granted there are enough concert-goers in attendance, mosh pits at these shows can get pretty pleasantly rowdy. People bring exactly their recorded sound to any stage. There is a consistency that they maintain in their levels and musicianship that is exemplary. For a DIY outfit, this speaks volumes to their dedication. What People bring to punk is great emotional intensity. They maintain the ability to satisfy the hardcore fan and vocalize many a teenage trial in their music.
Check out People's music here:
People will be playing at The Estate in Columbus, GA on 24SEP16; The Nick Rocks in Birmingham, AL on 25SEP16; and Cloud Springs Deli in Ringgold, GA on 28SEP16. Check out those upcoming events in their respective order here: