AGATHA: Nothing Is Static/Panic Attack: 7″/CD

Consider the musical explorations and visual aesthetics of Submission Hold and the ferocity of Spitboy. The willfulness and sarcasm (and vocal delivery, too) of Bikini Kill, and the musical nimbleness of DesArk. That’s the template—Agatha doesn’t sound exactly like any of those bands, but it’s a rough blueprint. Now add a dollop of the chalkboard-versus-fingernails jaggedness of post-punk, some wire-tight musicianship, an energy level that’s on ten the entire way throughout, and you’re getting closer. Abrasive punk rock that’s provocative as hell and brimming with ideas.Challenging ideas. About gender, community, depression, and more. All of it run through a funnel of grating hardcore that eschews melody for sharp angles, with little guitar flourishes and rhythm section tomfoolery that stick out like bits of colored glass in a gravel pit. At their core, Agatha is one of those bands that remind me of how it feels to be politicized—or at least challenged to think—by the ideas behind punk rock. The music is awesome—there’s hardly a stumble here, even in the Panic Attack demo—the lyrics are whipsmart and acerbic, and the whole thing reminds me of what I found inspirational about punk in the first place.

 –keith (Rumbletowne)