Plague Vendor‘s new album Bloodsweat is the band’s most powerful and menacing work, and a record that cements the band as the purveyors of dark post-punk in the current scene. The band’s sophomore record arrivesMarch 25 via Epitaph.
The first single “Jezebel” is a clear demonstration of why the band has been dubbed “voodoo punk” in the past with the song’s dance-fueled rock aesthetic and shadowy darkness. You can listen to it now at Noisey.
Bloodsweat is the anticipated follow up to Whittier, CA band’s debut album Free to Eat, which was cited by LA Weekly as “punkish dark rock that makes you want to dance and destroy everything around you.” AllMusic said it was “the perfect album to light the fuse on a night you probably won’t remember in the morning.” And simply put, “it fucking shreds” according to Pitchfork.
But Free to Eat, though brash and aptly terse, was just an appetizer to the main course. Bloodsweat, co-produced with Stuart Sikes and mixed by Alan Moulder, vastly expands on the sonic territory explored in their debut. During the recording process, Plague Vendor aimed to capture each track in as few takes as possible, avoiding many overdubs and embracing the same minimal production they bring to their live performances. Nearly all of the eleven songs on Bloodsweat were heavily road-tested, imagined, and re-imagined live before ever making it into the studio. The foursome spent the last two years playing endless live shows, filling everywhere from backyard parties to clubs to festivals. At the heart of every show is a frenetic performance by front man Brandon Blaine, who channels The Birthday Party-era Nick Cave. That combined with the musicians’ energy and spirit, the band evokes a foreboding, and very rock ‘n’ roll presence reminiscent of 80s Southern California punk that is more deathrock circa Christian Death than The Adolescents’s brand of skate punk.
Palpable tension comes from the sense that anything could happen, and certainly you feel that way when listening to Bloodsweat. But mostly, Plague Vendor is interested in simplicity and the sort of expressive nakedness that can come from stripping everything away. Bloodsweat invokes its own name as it unfurls, edged with a sense of danger and vulnerability.
Bloodsweat Track Listing:
1. Anchor to Ankles
3. Ox Blood
7. No Bounty
8. Saturday Night Shakes
9. Fire to Emotion
10. Giving In, Given Out
11. Got It Bad