Iron Lung Mental Distancing flexi EP
Three-song flexi that was culled from material the band recorded before the pandemic began. Okay, it’s IRON LUNG. I knew it was going to be good, but it’s really fucking good. “The Psychology of Quarantine” (how’s that for a pre-COVID omen, Jesus) opens the EP with a noisy soundscape and then delivers the absolutely pummeling guitar/drums powerviolence we know and love. The lyrics, “Their power / Fueled by depression / Granted access first to the mind / And then to its declining vessel / During crisis there is insatiable hunger / And an endless food source” encapsulates the chaos, confusion, and downward cultural spiral of the last two years in a 45-second invective. “Everything is a Void” is another grenade blast that has a stuttering, glitched-out guitar phrase before the blasting begins. “Our brains know what sickness tastes like,” indeed. The third track, “Only Human,” is a RUDIMENTARY PENI cover, and I was excited to hear what IRON LUNG would do with the original’s rolling drum cadence. My expectations were dashed, reconfigured, and handed back to me in a stunning way—they go industrial-influenced hardcore like a mix of GODFLESH-style booming low-end noise-bass and the filthiness of PIG HEART TRANSPLANT. It’s nasty and unique in the best way a punk cover can be. Even the best powerviolence records can run together a bit because of the fast blur of songs, but IRON LUNG, as usual, makes every track an innovative, distinct, unnerving experience. Can a stopgap, album-teasing flexi be one of the best punk releases of the year? Essential listening.