Smut First Kiss 12″

I saw SMUT twice here in Oakland: once a completely brilliant hot drunken mess with a faulty distortion pedal and performance-enhancing technical confusion, the other time just a regular, competent show. Same approving audience reaction at both shows. A general “feel-the-darkness as truth” manifests through SMUT, and this 12″ is permanent proof. There is self-abuse, there are drugs and sex, admissions and humility, punks’ experiences through punk music, devoid of the boring performative bullshit we scroll through all day every day. First Kiss is reminding me how I may have taken punk for granted pre-plague, but I know I was helplessly engaged at those two shows. And now we enjoy these eight tracks of pummelling hardcore that coulda been among the best examples from the Mutha Records roster in a different era, foul and lean but not sketchy or despicable. Or maybe the unmitigated power of early SS DECONTROL and JERRY’S KIDS. These East Coast comparisons are fine for reference but kind of unfair because this band falls into a trajectory of LA punk that’s been consistently inspiring for ten-plus years. Can’t wait til the citizens of the US value public health enough to return to a reality where we can pit to SMUT again, but in the meantime this 12″ rules!