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Scratchpack, “Sick Shit,” from Unconscious Suicide. (Self-Released, 2017)

Bands like Scratchpack are the reason that I constantly listen to an absurd amount of music, because I know there's always more out there that I'm missing out on. Here we have a trio from Kraków, Poland that I never would've heard had they not reached out after I wrote about another band that they happen to enjoy.

Formed in the fall of 2014 and digitally self-releasing their debut, Unconscious Suicide., three years later, the group delivers a heavy, gritty, very '90s-influenced form of grunge/alternative rock. Generally packed into two- to four-minute tracks, expect energetic songwriting with strained, Cobain-esque vocals aiding the Nirvana-like hooks; combined with the harder-hitting angularity and subtly morose slog of a band like Fudge Tunnel.

I had a hard time narrowing down my song selection here as to (hopefully) best encourage listeners to explore the full release. Along with "Sick Shit" above, "Windmill" skews slightly more aggressive. "Butterflies" and "Size Up" explore a hint more dynamics and boast blatantly catchy hooks. "Burn Free" is the dark, somber seven-minute epic. I essentially landed on opener "Sick Shit" because it falls somewhere in the middle of all that the trio has to offer, and its forceful drive immediately hooked me in.

Unconscious Suicide. is available as a name your price download through Bandcamp, and I hope to hear more from Scratchpack down the road. This is a nice little release that's certainly deserving of more attention...