Record of the Week: Quarantine - Agony 12"

Quarantine: Agony 12” (Damage United) If you read last week’s Sorry State newsletter, you’re not surprised to see Quarantine’s Agony LP is Record of the Week. We fucking love this record at Sorry State. We flipped out about their demo tape a while back, and when the band slipped Usman a test press this summer, he dubbed tapes for all of us. I’ve been listening to mine regularly, impatient for the vinyl to drop. And now the day has come! Quarantine’s sound is tailor-made for the SSR crew, furious and unrelenting, but finding space in the cacophony for creativity and craft. You might recognize the vocalist from his previous band Chain Rank, and Jack carries into Quarantine his ability to write a memorable vocal hook. For all the bands who garner comparisons to the Abused or Negative Approach, few of them can craft hooks as memorable as the originators… Jack can. The rhythm section is crushing, anchored by Chris Ulsh’s masterful drumming, which combines inhuman power with a speed and dexterity that will leave your jaw on the floor. The guitars, while locking into the rhythm like any good hardcore band should, frequently veer off course, injecting an acid-fried spontaneity that brings to mind United Mutation. There’s so much going on in these fourteen tracks that it’s almost too much, and I spent my first couple of listens staring blankly at the speakers, my brain fully occupied with parsing the chaos. Now that the initial catatonic astonishment has worn off, I chant along, air guitar, and air drum, my body powerless against Quarantine’s relentless rush.

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