Record of the Week: The Massacred: Post-Mortem 7"

The Massacred: Post-Mortem 7” (Active-8 Records) Active-8 Records brings us the debut EP from this UK82-style band from Boston. While Post-Mortem is the first Massacred recording to get wide distribution and the band has no online presence, I’ve had the sense they’ve been bubbling up for a while now. I saw them in New York last summer and they were shockingly good, playing with the power and confidence you typically only see from well-seasoned bands. Their vinyl debut continues the pattern, confidently executing a fully formed vision. As I mentioned, the Massacred plays UK82-style punk, and while it would be appropriate to compare them with the Partisans, Skeptix, or Ultra Violent, the band the Massacred makes me think of is the Exploited, but without the goofy shit and if every single track was as good as their best ones. The band is on fire, and while their songs might have a straightforward and traditional framework, they’re executed in a way that maintains the highest level of intensity without wavering for a fraction of a second. In particular, I can’t get over the guitar playing. There’s nothing flashy about it, but it’s a relentless barrage of lightning-fast picking that’s flawless without sounding robotic… though they don’t sound like them, the way the Massacred approaches playing their music makes me think of the almighty Out Cold. The Massacred has put as much care and attention to detail into the design and presentation of Post-Mortem as they put into the music, too. I love that, rather than the 2 and 3-song singles that were de rigueur in the UK82 world, Post-Mortem features 8 tracks at 33rpm, and like the early Dischord and Touch and Go 7”s it seems to be modeled on, it feels more like an album than a single. The packaging design is also perfect. As with the Public Trust record Active-8 released a few years ago, holding Post-Mortem in your hands conjures a similar excitement to many of my favorite early 80s punk artifacts. This just rules in every way.

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