P22: Human Snake 12"

P22: Human Snake 12"

Tags: · 20s · hardcore · hcpmf · post-punk · recommended · spo-default · spo-disabled · weird
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P22 is a Los Angeles band formed in 2015 by Sofia Arreguin, Nicole-Antonia Spagnola, Justin Tenney, and Taylor Thompson.

P22 borrows their name from the famed Los Angeles mountain lion who crossed both the 405 and 101 freeways to disperse in Griffith Park. Puma concolor number twenty-two.

A band is always a utopian proposition. P22 is a prudent exercise in the collective rearing of offbeat protest tunes in punk's tomb.

P22 has released three tapes, two self-released, and one released as part of Mike Kriebel's Beat Sessions.

Human Snake, P22's first EP, is a compilation of sanguine materials written between 2017 and 2019. Human Snake was recorded and mastered during the summer of 2019 by Mike Kriebel, after the group's brief hiatus.

"The animal takes its stand on the plant, man bestrides animality, and the whole of humanity, in space and in time, is one immense army galloping beside and before and behind each of us in an overwhelming charge able to beat down every resistance and clear the most formidable obstacles, perhaps even death."

Our take: We last heard from Los Angeles’s P22 when they released a tape on the excellent Beat Sessions cassette series. P22 was the band I was least familiar with from that entire series, and I didn’t give their tape time to sink in. I need to revisit it, though, because Human Snake has blown me away. P22 doesn’t sound like anything I can think of. The speak-sing vocals, thoughtful, eloquent lyrics, and experimental music make me think of Poison Girls, but P22 is its own thing. While everything about the band is great, I’m particularly taken with the drummer’s style. They have a unique sense of rhythm and while they break into a full rock beat a few times over the course of the record, most of the drumming is more minimal, glancing across the main rhythm rather than underscoring it. The songs’ arrangements follow a similar pattern. In most punk bands, all the musicians are playing pretty much all the time (with perhaps one instrumental break for a bar or less), but the members of P22 often hang back, playing quietly or remaining silent for long stretches. The sense of restraint makes much of Human Snake resemble modern classical music, but there are stretches of full-bore punk too. While there’s plenty more I could say about this one, I’ll stress that if you’re into this kind of intellectual, artsy, underground punk (and particularly if you enjoyed the recent Slender LP) you should listen to this and make up your own mind about it.