A lot can change in 16 months. I know that because a mere 16 months ago was when I reviewed …In Diapers, the demo EP by an unknown hardcore band called PEARS. In the time since then, the band released their debut full-length, Go to Prison, to near universal praise around the punk scene; caught the attention of Ryan Young who decided to release Go to Prison on vinyl; toured with the likes of (to name a few) Direct Hit!, Red City Radio, Off With Their Heads, Teenage Bottlerocket, and Lagwagon; caught the attention of Fat Mike and signed to Fat Wreck (who re-released Go to Prison, again) AND appeared on the most recent Fat Music compilation. That all happened in between May 2014 and September 2015. That’s damn impressive.
Which brings us to now. Their official debut release for Fat Wreck comes in the form of Letters to Memaw, a two song 7-inch single which proves that as much as things can and do change, they can also often stay the same. The music is snotty and in-your-face, and will still become ingrained in your skull. The band’s sense of humor hasn’t gone anywhere either: look no further than the title and album artwork for that.
“Snowflake” was previously released earlier this year as a part of Fat Music Vol. 8: Going Nowhere Fat, so diehard fans (and let’s be real here: when it comes to PEARS, if you’re into them, you’re really into them) already know this one. It’s fast, it’s catchy, and it makes direct lyrical references to The Germs. “Anhedonia”, Memaw’s second track, follows suit by being equal parts grimy and catchy. One moment it’s a blistering hardcore song in the vein of early Black Flag, and the next it nearly becomes a thrash song with “Gimme death!” being repeatedly shouted. And all in under two minutes!
If Letters to Memaw is any indication (and there’s no reason to see why it wouldn’t be), PEARS are doing just fine at the rate they’re moving. They will continue to thrive over at Fat Wreck and their second full length will be just as good as everything else they’ve put out. Hardcore isn’t exactly the most marketable genre to the masses, but if it were… it wouldn’t be out of the question to imagine PEARS finding themselves in the middle of a major label bidding war by early 2017.
(Hey, I know it’s just a fantasy but who knows how much will change in 16 months!)
4 / 5
RIYL: Black Flag, OFF!, Night Birds