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Piss Kinks - Demo

Piss Kinks at Pussy Palace. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.

I'm choosing to believe that the New Year's Day release of the Piss Kinks demo is a good omen for 2022. This Kansas City punk band consists mostly (if not entirely) of teenagers and I don't think I've encountered a local teenage punk demo this exciting since Bennett Weaver's bands were cranking out tapes left and right back in 2016 (that year saw releases from The Drippies, Kolumbine Kids, Killakee Cat, and Narc Parade). Aside from solid playing all around, this demo throws listeners a few stylistic curveballs throughout its 12-minute runtime -- another part of what makes it so special.

If you pressed play hoping for some straightforward d-beat pummeling, you will receive it on multiple tracks. The aforementioned curveballs are what happens in between those blasts. On both the opening track "Henchmen" and later on "Fuck Your War, Worm," the band opts to switch things up by chugging a heavy hardcore/metalcore-style breakdown (the latter even features some China cymbal action). Elitist rockers may find these moments to be disqualifying, but as someone who enjoys heavy hardcore and metalcore when done well, I dig the breakdowns and the fact that kids can potentially creepy-crawl/side-to-side slam and hardcore dance/two-step during a Piss Kinks set. I also think it's fun to hear these kinds of breakdowns in a lo-fi DIY punk style of production (thanks to the one and only Lance Rutledge). TLDR: it shouldn't work, but it does.

In addition to small bits of early '80s Midwest hardcore scattered throughout, a couple songs take on an anarcho-punk sound. The band's singer Reece (I do not know his last name, his Instagram is private and has no posts, and I didn't catch him smiling for one moment during the band's first set; mysterious) uses his speaking voice during a couple brief lulls on "Fight I Can't Win" while the song is reduced to a simple drum and bass groove. I think Dick Lucas and Steve Ignorant would be proud.

In the same way that many young hip-hop and underground pop artists almost entirely evade genre norms, Piss Kinks play their own sort of post-subgenre punk. The band can shred, Reece's attitude is unshakeable, and every song keeps the listener guessing. I expect Piss Kinks to be the first favorite punk band of many local teenagers and that makes me very happy.

Listen to the demo and buy a copy from Dirtbag Distro below.

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