A horrible hack

Self Defense Family

Long Island

Year Released: 2020
Format: Download
Label: Iron Pier
Reviewed by Thomas Strawbridge on Sep 7, 2020
Crumbs, now it has been a long time since Sincerely and You Are Beneath Me. I’ve drifted away as they’ve changed up and moved on, but this has been like catching up with an old friend – what happened, where you been, who was in your band that one time. Well, something like.

Self Defense Family spent quarantine digging through their archives to find alternative takes, unreleased sessions, unfinished recordings. Things have been added. Finished. Memories of locations, members, tours have been recalled, and these have been put up with related merch going to a range of charities. Its feels strange to write on these as a single release, outside the wider tale of what nearly was and wasn’t quite – a biography and alternative best-of at once.

These 2 tracks… I really don’t know. I think this is best summed up in the accompanying spiel, as an attempt to try something completely different, and winding up somewhere else again. Which is something for a band that has such variety in sound in its history already. ‘Patrick says’ they were aiming for Deadguy and ended up with Unsane.

Its all a bit unpleasant really - sludgy instruments, with a curious thick production and strangled vocals. It’s a rarity, but nowhere near a B-side banger. I can’t (and do not) recommend these on their own, but they are worth a listen in the context of the 9 tracks in the series.

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