Exeter’s Punk and Roll trio, Disgraceland, recently dropped their latest EP, Warthog, a five-track, fifteen-minute offering that takes an observational look at a lot of current/modern-day issues whilst making an enjoyable listen in the process.
Disgraceland – Warthog EP (Independent Release)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Jools Green
Opening on One Shit Decision From Disaster, about which they explain that “we all make hundreds of decisions every day, often without thinking about it. Other, bigger decisions can take hours, days, months or even years of deliberation, but ultimately the final decision takes a split second to lock in and can make or break the rest of your life.” A slightly unnerving concept if you think too deeply about it.
Sound-wise it’s a predominately driving track with pummelling drum rhythms and addictively hypnotic riffs that drop back to a melodic chorus adding contrast. The blistering closing leadwork reflects those driving riffs. My favourite line of the song “…. get it wrong and it’ll bite you in the arse!” There’s also a lot of humour in that kind of truth.
Cancel Culture Club delivers predominantly a punchy hypnotic groove punctuated with more reflective passages and a sharp second-half lead work burst. Lyrically, it looks at how “some people hold vile views and deserve to be called out for it. Others, often in the past when times were different, make ill-informed choices and say dumb stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much they show they have changed, shown contrition for the things they said and proved themselves to be decent people. The Cancel Culture Club will attempt to destroy them in an attempt to cement and display their own wonderful virtue. We learn from mistakes.”
Gun Nuts And God Botherers has a Ska influence alongside the groove and roll, but beneath this jolly tune lurks a darker lyrical content. “It’s pretty scary that the most powerful superpower in the world still allows itself to be ruled by a 2000-year-old work of complete fiction and a nearly 250-year-old piece of paper,” the band say. It’s my favourite track of the EP on all levels. I love the Ska element, and given my own “philosophical leanings,” lyrically it resonates in many ways with me too.
Ominous bass lines and squealing leads precede a meld of powerful punchiness and driving groove on 21st Century Affliction. The second half leadwork is blistering too, but behind that is a serious lyrical message.
“The 21st Century is not a healthy place to live,” the band says. “The internet and the huge rise of social media have given everybody the confidence to hide behind their keyboards and publish every thought in their heads. Information to back up any insane belief is available at the click of a button, and because it’s published on the internet, there are plenty of people who take everything as gospel. The world is a hard enough place to navigate as it is, but now it’s a place where paranoia, insecurity, fear and hatred can be exploited and manipulated.
The groovy Punk and Roll continue to the close with the final offering, Bees, a track which has an engaging ebb and build to its construct. The mid-point leadwork is not too shabby either. Lyrically the track looks into the fact that “anxiety and stress can be crippling afflictions. The phrase ‘like having a head full of angry bees’ seems so appropriate as it can be almost impossible to escape the constant motion and noise that anxiety can create in your own mind making it difficult to see, hear, think or even speak clearly.”
Warthog definitely comes from the more sophisticated end of punk. It’s a hugely engaging and addictive listen that is lyrically well thought out and makes a lot of valid points.
Also, in true Punk style, Disgraceland have gone fully old-school style DIY with Warthog, using recycled, eco-friendly CD sleeves, rubber stamps for the front and back covers, and even sticking the covers together themselves.
So, if you want a lovingly crafted copy, then Warthog is available to buy as a physical copy or digital download from https://disgracelandpunk.bandcamp.com/album/warthog
Digital versions and some physical versions of their previous releases are available on Bandcamp or stream Disgraceland on Spotify.