Short/Fast/Loud: Abolitionist – “A New Militance”

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Here at Dying Scene, we’ve been talking a lot behind the scenes about how to maximize our content—not only covering more, but covering better. We’ll be making some changes to our output in the coming months, and the end goal will be to provide our writers with more opportunities to write in-depth reviews, editorials, and interviews. Part of this is adapting our review format—there is simply too much out there to cover and full-length reviews just aren’t time effective. That doesn’t mean we’re getting rid of longform reviews (we’d rather die), only that when we do them, we’ll be investing more in them and treating them as we would a feature. For the rest, we want to cover the multitude of bands that are working hard out there but might get squashed under the great wheel of the album submissions game. Short-form reviews—as short and loud as punk itself—will be a way for us to cover more while still providing honest, dependable feedback. Let us know what you think of the new format, we plan to roll out capsule reviews as they accumulate from here on out.

Political punks Abolitionist are back with A New Militance, an eight song album that is neither LP or EP, but inhabiting a weird Twilight Zone all its own. Personally, I prefer this in-between format—it’s a reflection of punk itself, refusing arbitrary rules and following the muse. A New Militance continues Abolitionists’ post-hardcore-ish punk rock with a little more emphasis on the post- this time around. This results in meatier leads throughout, such as that on the metallic and stomping “RED.” The changes are welcome additions, but personally, I think A New Militance would be an even stronger album taking their influences further. This is a band of chugging claustrophobia, but with the taste of something new, it makes one wonder what they could do with sparser, airier, more subtle instrumentation.

But, that being said, A New Militance is a good listen. In the long tradition of Abolitionist concept albums, this one focuses on a worldwide feminist uprising. Mid-album banger “ACTUALLY” begins with the line (an ode to mansplaining), “Actually… just shut the fuck up.” Righteous, cathartic, and maybe just a little funny—Abolitionist are still as scrappy, interesting, and devoutly political as ever.

Check out: “PINK,” “ACTUALLY,” “NOPE”



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