A quick confession: I friggin’ love Lord Silky. The Burlington hardcore punk quintet was among my personal favorite local discoveries this year. Over a span of four weeks this spring, I think I caught them four times in concert, and came away more impressed after every show. They are loud, abrasive and confrontational onstage — front man Josh Cause is borderline impetuous. But they are also entertaining. They take not taking themselves seriously very seriously. The result is a band that has declared a thumb war on the self-righteous fervor that accompanies so much current hardcore music. On their debut record, Dios Sedoso, Lord Silky remind us that passion doesn’t have to mean you lack a sense of humor, and that it’s fucking OK to have a good time once in a while. And sometimes, it’s more fun if you’re really pissed off — or at least if you pretend to be.
From start to finish, this brisk, nine-track, 23-minute EP simply scorches with ragged, snarling aplomb. Part of my fascination with the band while I was a pseudo-groupie earlier this year was how much tighter it seemed to get at each successive show. Dios is the realization of that progression. The band is composed of several local hardcore and punk vets who collectively unleash a master tutorial on breakneck hardcore technique.
On album opener “Care Don’t Care,” guitarists Jake Clemons and Eric Czado burn with crunchy staccato bombast, then sucker punch with manic melodic flourishes. Bassist Jason Üs provides a menacing underbelly while drummer Rob Silky attacks with calculated fury. Silky does push the tempo on occasion, but given the full-throttle assault here, he can hardly be blamed for redlining.
“Alcohol Injection” is slobbering metal glory complete with a berserk lead-guitar line and, ever the hardcore staple, numerous fist-pumping breakdowns. “Golden Horn” continues the record’s boozy debauchery with mid-tempo sludge rock before exploding into amphetamine-fueled speed metal. “Gloves” is a roiling punk rage fest, as is the following cut, “Wasteland.”
“Townie Town” is an album highlight, encapsulating everything that is great about Lord Silky. Over a convulsive guitar crunch, Cause sermonizes on the ongoing battle for Burlington’s soul: townies vs. college kids. Guess which side he’s on? As he howls, “Get the fuck outta my town!” the band echos his exhortation with one of their own, a rousing chorus of “Hey! Ho! Get the fuck outta my town!” Any local who has ever waited in line as his or her favorite dive bar swells with frat boys on a steamy September night would likely identify.
The only flaw of Dios Sedoso is that it doesn’t quite match the intensity of the band’s live shows. But given how utterly off the wall Lord Silky can be in person, that’s a near-impossible task. Still, it’s a boisterously subversive and engaging debut, and a potent reminder that hardcore doesn’t have to be so gratingly humorless.
Dios Sedoso by Lord Silky is available at lordsilky.com.