Not much in the world of hardcore has been catching my ear as of late, so when Seattle, WA's City of Industry hit me up 10 days ago, I wasn't expecting to be particularly interested.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
Set for release on December 15th, the trio's debut EP tears through seven tracks of aptly rugged, occasionally melodic, oft-powerviolence-tinged hardcore/punk in just over five minutes; and if that wasn't enough, uniquely sincere and authentically furious vocals such as these hook me in every fuckin' time—adding a relatable sense of true feeling to the group's cohesively diverse atmospheres.
Amidst a genre somewhat plagued by cookie-cutter standardization from time to time, this is definitely a release that—at least to me—sets itself apart and has something more to offer. The whole listen's over in a flash, and "Sisters"—one of my instant favorites—clocks in at a mere 26 seconds, so… what more can I really say!? Stream it below, followed by a quick interview with the band to provide some insight as to where they're coming from, and where they're headed…
Devoid of a voice
Of love and of peace and of comfort and choice
Stuck in a system
Of abuse and neglect while there's people that miss them
Believe it or not
The ones at the top are pulling the strings
Creating the rings
Keeping our sisters and mothers and daughters enslaved
Blazing through seven songs in barely over five minutes, what struck me the most about your debut EP is the way the material seamlessly intertwines so many different influences. I feel like so much hardcore all sounds exactly the same these days; so the energy, diversity, and genuine anger of your approach really stands out.
Thank you! We really try to bring our own style to the table. We think we had an advantage with this project, style-wise. Our guitarist had been on a multi-year hiatus from playing music. He started with a fresh approach and we came out swinging.
As an older dude who still buys CDs, I was shocked yet pleased to see that this EP will in fact be available on disc, which also bucks the current trends. What led to that decision?
We are all fans/collectors of physical media. Having something to hold and look at is cool. Digital is great, but we came from the CD generation on the tail end of the tape wave. We would love to put this EP—as well as future releases—out on cassette and vinyl, but for now it is not feasible.
Is Amerikan Aesthetics your own label?
Amerikan Aesthetics is the design company of one of our members. They do everything from murals to CD layouts to event planning… and now a small D.I.Y. record label. With self-releases we have control over everything, which is nice. The company is ever-expanding and will be coming with a website soon.
The shortest track of the EP, "Sisters" is also one of its most melodic. You mentioned to me that the lyrics deal with sex trafficking, and I also appreciate that your lyrical content offers an open and emotional take on political matters—nothing overly specific. That being said, I got the impression that this is a topic you feel strongly about drawing attention to, so talk about the inspiration behind this track in particular.
This is a topic that we as a band feel is often overlooked, and deserves more attention. The sad part is that this problem goes straight to the top. Sex trafficking is said to generate $32 billion a year. That is third to illegal drugs and arms trafficking, which are known industries that the U.S.—and many other associates of theirs—are heavily involved in. We hope for people to keep in mind and remember the victims and prisoners of these international human trafficking rings.
City of Industry is already working toward a full-length in the spring. What should listeners expect from the album—and in the meantime?
We are excited to start recording this full-length soon. Listeners can expect more than five minutes of material [laughs]; as well as it being a cohesive, dynamic, heavy piece of honest music. We also have some splits and a couple more EPs in the works. This is just the beginning.