Still life with half-filled Jameson bottle.This 7” came with a secret Madison Bloodbath decoder ring. It just says, “Everything negative is really positive.” It’s like an inverse of early Against Me!, where instead of swelling belief in positive change, there’s this sweltering dwelling in dark places and existential anguish. (And if that sounds too square hat to you: it’s the time you realize you’ve been fooling yourself, life don’t mean anything, and you’re in a dark, cold place like inside the “refrigerator of the soul” when the door’s closed.) The Bloodbath paradox is that they sing and play so convincingly and with so much verve, while simultaneously proclaiming defeat, self-dishonesty, and decay. Anchor Arms: More saxophone! I have more tolerance than the average listener for “Fest music”—gruff vocals, anthemic, guitar-driven melodic punk rock, but, being so, I’ve listened to so much of it by now, that it takes something else—like ragged saxophone integrated into the middle, not just the beginning and end—to really draw me in. Not offensive, but not clearly separated from the densely populated pack.

 –todd (Kiss Of Death)