Sickpay: Pureocracy




(Alien Body, Trespasser Sound)

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A noisy metallic jangle plodding of “Quiet As A Joke” opens Sickpay’s new EP Pureocracy. The Brooklyn-based composer/drummer/guitarist Mike Birnbaum layers a truly simple punk sensibility to this solo project, and from this sad yet hard hitting beginning tune, the vibe works pretty much through the four that follow. An echoey guitar and lots of crashing drum space bring “Devoid” around. This one features Jordan Welner on vocals, and with the change-up from the verses to an overdriven chorus it is quite commercial, actually. I took this one as my favorite on Pureocracy.

Birnbaum makes use of his drumming skills on the tribal beat of “Generosity.” This one has a great overdriven-sounding bass and a popping beat. Adding some autotune to the vocals, again, we get a heavy and dark chorus that pushes the tune along. It’s yet another solid little punk tune with lots of layers and space and something that, to my mind, sounds very ear-radio friendly. “Sick Pay” ends the EP.

With a single-note lead over the top of the noise, this is an almost joyous jumping jive punk tune; I really like this one! The energy is crazy fun, and the guitar line following the melody makes this another song you can really crash around to; think Madness meets The Clash.

Ok, so all the brashness here leaves Sickpay’s Pureocracy not everyone’s cuppa…but even for the old prog-rocking, not so much fan of punk jaded listener I am, I dug what Birnbaum creates here.

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