Persona: Free Your Mind 12” (Iron Lung Records) Iron Lung Records brings us the debut 7-song 12” EP from this New York City punk band. While I can describe most of the bands I write about for Sorry State with a few words, summing up their sound with a couple of band comparisons or a subgenre tag, Persona’s music feels totally separate from that line of thinking. Their songs sound raw, immediate, and visceral, like they come from something deeper and more personal than just thinking a certain band or style is cool. It’s impossible for me to tell whether Persona avoids copycatting by meticulously purging their music of elements that feel too familiar, or whether they just sidestep those kinds of concerns by being clear and confident about who they are as musicians and people. What I can tell you, though, is that Free Your Mind feels fresh, particularly for a hardcore record as raging as it is. The rhythms are wild, the noisy textures are rich with detail, and the performances ooze with passion. On paper, moments like the sludgy intro for “Get F*****d,” the haunting, Part 1-esque second half of “Moment of Silence,” the triumphant mosh of “Race to the Bottom,” the acid-fried United Mutation-isms of “One Way Out,” and the blasting “Pure Evil” should should sound scattered, but it all hangs together on the strength of Persona’s gravitas and their power as musicians. I’m amazed by how much Persona can pack into these 11 minutes of wild and addictive hardcore punk.
im into it, the band ever retire the scream though.