Standout Track: “Demands,” the B-side off the new Birth (Defects) 7-inch single, is an assault on your ears. That might sound like a criticism—it’s not. The song is a simple, two-chord, mid-tempo rager interrupted by squeals of feedback and distortion. It might be a harsh listen, but through the walls of noise and singer Sean Gray‘s pointed, muddled screams, you can feel the catharsis oozing from the sound.
Musical Motivation: “Cathartic” is the key word for dissecting “Demands.” In an email, Gray says the song is “about confronting a liar, knowing that they are lying, knowing it’s fact, but never getting the full story. It’s nothing new, but something I’ve been on both sides of. There’s a lot of shame involved, and in some ways that’s the heart of the subject matter.” The song was recorded last summer by Perfect Pussy‘s Shaun Sutkus in his tiny practice space in New York, where there was no AC, Gray says. “You could physically feel as soon as you opened the door how uncomfortable the room was. It then bled over into it being uncomfortable psychologically as well,” he says. “We really had to push ourselves in that environment. He wanted to record as raw as possible and still capture the dynamics of the band.”
Everything Old Is New Again: Gray says that he and guitarist Rob Savillo wrote “Demands” about seven years ago, well before Birth (Defects) was a band. The song was rearranged and repurposed for this new 7-inch, the band’s second for Baltimore’s Reptilian Records. “Two years ago when we dug [out] that old demo, we started Birth (Defects),” Gray says. “At that time we were really into weirdo hardcore like Frightwig, Flipper, Twin Stumps, The New Flesh, Cherubs, and a lot of Japanese noise like Merzbow and Pain Jerk. When we were writing that song those influences really shined through.”
Birth (Defects) plays a release show on Sunday with The Gotobeds and Bested at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. 8 p.m. $12.