Album Review: Yes, I’m Leaving-Mission Bulb

Finally, I’m going to bring back some punk to this blog. It’s kind of been bogged down with the illustrious scene of garage, and negative reviews of a certain French house duo’s recently disapointingly overhyped album, but the time has come to delve back into the realm of punk. Sydney hasn’t really had a definitive flag-bearer for the punk category as of late. I’m not talking about old school legends like The Hard-Ons, Radio Birdman or The Celibate Rifles, or the awesome garage styled punk of bands like Royal Headache or Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys. I’m talking about the intense, lit up, bonfire kind of punk, that screams and ricochets through your brain at ungodly speeds, and with the fury of a warthog on meth. However, that has all changed with the recent release of Yes, I’m Leaving’s album ‘Mission Bulb’.

As of May 22nd, the boys from Parramatta have just released their third record, and second on Tenzenmen Records, a local label that can’t seem to do bad. If it’s unique, and it’s good, there’s a solid chance it got released on Tenzenmen. If you see the name, and you’re into having your earholes petrified, ensure you grab it. For a bit of context, they’ve released stuff by heroes such as Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing, Hira Hira, and Skip Skip Ben Ben. Not just content with releasing the best of heavy stuff, Tenzenmen also delve into releasing just plain fantastic alternative stuff, as the last band I mentioned will prove. However, Tenzenmen mainly release heavy, expiremntal and punk stuff, and it’s always going to be a thrill ride, one way or another, as ‘Mission Bulb’ proves. Yes, I’m Leaving have been around on the scene for a little while, gigging and honing their craft of Dischord Records-like punk to a nihilistic perfection, and it comes out for sure on the record.

The mention of Dischord above was not a throwaway either. Yes, I’m Leaving certainly contains the drawl and angry drive of bands like Fugazi, Nation of Ulysses or Rites of Spring. Each song on the record pushes forth with a ferocity that only a genuine band like the aforementioned actually possessed. This is an incredibly rare, and beautiful thing to listen to. To actually hear the self-hating and snarling lyrics on ‘Four Chorder’: ‘And as I look in the mirror, I just see my eyes/ the reflection of you that has been compromised’ followed by an undulating, harshly screamed chorus is proof that punk’s not dead. This is all wrapped in a killer Drive Like Jehu-lite riff that hooks the listener with sharp daggers of crazy venom. A pleasure to listen to.

The entire album is like this, just picturesque punk done in slam-dancing, white eyed rage, blaring like the horn of a truck barrelling down on a highway. Every line is sent with the vocal chords straining to their limit, the guitars bleeding a sound of coarse deliverance, unholy and beckoning. The drums crash and force the beat into near oblivion, and the bass is so blazing it’s just a tornado of sound. Lead singer Billy Burke deserves special mention for his nasally sing-song shout; it is this unique voice, as well as the excellent musicianship, that separates Yes, I’m Leaving from the usual punk kerfuckle (not a spelling error), and gives the songs the hurtling-to-a-precipice tone that is rare and very appreciated.

The plunging, razor-edged tone of ‘Mission Bulb’ is a jackhammar to the gonads; a perpetual state of nose-dive affairs that highlights disaster in the most infectious way possible. It’s an untainted record, brimming with noisy capability, catastrophically good, and will give you nosebleeds in the opening chords. It’s the album that punks the world over have all been waiting for, and it’s just Sydney’s luck that they picked up these bruisers. I highly recommend getting this album, so you have something to listen to next time you want to punch a helicopter into dust, because you’re just that fucking mad!

Yes, I’m Leaving are playing in Sydney at The Casula Powerhouse June 7th, and at Black Wire Records June 29th. I’m pretty sure their live show is better than seeing donkeys guillotine Optimus Prime. You can buy ‘Mission Bulb’ and their previous Tenzenmen release ‘Nothing’ for a coupla bucks off their Bandcamp, and their debut is going for free. Enjoy some o’ that gewwwwwwwwd punk.

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