In the immortal words of Chris Hannah of Canadian Punk legends Propagandhi, “Total Massacre have a directness and simplicity that is kind of a lost art these days. It was a hallmark of the Punk scene back in the 80’s and we need more of that.”
Words: Jools Green
To date these Southern California Punks Total Massacre have delivered two full lengths; the self-titled ‘Total Massacre’ in 2018 and the blistering follow-up ‘The System Works… ‘ in 2019. These are albums that have laid the foundation for what they stand for and they had been steadily making a name for themselves live until COVID-19 shut everything down.
So like a lot of bands Total Massacre spent the downtime writing songs remotely, rehearsing only once or twice before convening to record “the songs of 2020”, all to be released as a series of singles through the first half of 2021, ‘Get Rich Or Try Dying’ being the first of those gems.
‘Get Rich or Try Dying’ is a clever play on words as well as a track that makes an excellent listen. It makes a lot of cynical but very valid points from the perspective of your average person, about which vocalist Cap’n No-Fun told MetalTalk: “‘Get Rich or Try Dying’ started like most of our songs do, with a suggestion for a funny song title (this time from our drummer Tommy) combined with the unshakeable sense that literally everything has been fundamentally stacked against us.
“So not exactly new territory for us as far as song writing goes, but I feel like this one does a good job honing in on one of the points that I think is pretty important and all too easily overlooked: That our lives are the commodity that is being bought and sold.”
Sound wise it epitomises that hugely addictive dirty 80’s hardcore sound with the shouty lyrical delivery, which I love.
For the music video, the band enlisted the creative mind of Dylan Howard, the drummer from LA Punk band The Lungs, who directed the clip and the Punk ethos is present in everything Total Massacre does, especially the DIY approach to their releases, doing their own production and releasing it on their own label also called Total Massacre.
The band’s home base studio Beer City nearly burned to the ground in 2020, but you can not keep a good Punk down and it should be up and running in time for the band to record another flurry of singles.
So you can count on “plenty more pissed off hardcore” from Total Massacre soon. Watch this space….
Find Total Massacre on BandCamp: totaleffingmassacre.bandcamp.com
Stream the track on digital platforms here: distrokid.com/hyperfollow/totalmassacre/get-rich-or-try-dying