EP Review: Black Bolt – “Comfort of the Grave”

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Black Bolt’s five-song EP, Comfort of the Grave, is the latest release from everyone’s favorite Boise punk act, self-described as “a loose conglomeration of nerds and jerks playing three to five chords, sometimes successfully.” Also from their Facebook page: “Black Bolt subverts the contemporary music system by playing amateurishly in a fashion that is best compared to puking in the alleys behind Mulligans (local Boise bar) after 3 AMFS.” However, there’s nothing amateur about this recording. The production is solid (Andy Agenbroad at the Chop Shop) and the performances are tight.

The first thing one notices with Comfort of the Grave is that Black Bolt writes really cool song titles, like “Doctor Destruction” and “Smokin’ it to the Bird”. Download it through Bandcamp.com and you’ll hear melodic punk tunes at Ramones-esque tempos and harmonic progressions accompanied by old school vocals reminiscent of – but with influences that stem far earlier than – The Briggs and early Rancid.

Really, after a simple listening to the songs, the band comes across far more serious than their song titles and self-degrading description would imply. “Straight to the Biscuits” is about battling alcoholism during his grandfather’s funeral, while several other songs touch on drug abuse

The fifth and final track, “Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Hashtags”, at first glance appears to be a parody, though the lyrics are just as damning of U.S. foreign and domestic policy as the classic Propaghandi album and title track, Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes. “Sanitizing land across the sea,” scream the vocals as the EP comes to a close. “Whittle down the earth until it’s flat. Mutating some perverse immunity. Whitewash everything until it’s black.” Heavy stuff.

Overall this is a solid effort from the Idaho quartet. Check it out. It’s free, so there’s no reason not to.

3.5/5 Stars


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