Sarcasm have just released their third EP ‘Creeping Life’ via Static Shock Records. It’s sadly the band’s “final offering”. The band, releasing since 2016 and sharing a member (Oliver Powe) with the excellent Child’s Pose, appear set to depart without saying goodbye on stage. It seems like we’re forever reviewing EPs this year. A result of pursuits cut short by coronavirus? Possibly.
This six track EP is a fitting farewell and another hit of sinister post-punk.
The direct ‘(Above The) People Wall’ is a tense opener that feels extremely on edge. The momentum throughout is relentless. The cymbal heavy drums and crunchy guitar basically don’t let up. Meanwhile, vocalist Luke McGuire truly delivers on the band’s name, with an almost constant feeling of condescension in his tone of voice.
‘Algae’, which contains the title track line, is darker in tone. Alexandra Graves and Marcus Giles provide plenty of menacing low end. As a result, this creates a sort of rockabilly Birthday Party feel. The creepy atmosphere is perfectly mirrored by the lyrics. Seemingly an ode to the incredible power of nature, it almost depicts it as something sinister.
“Concrete controlled by a plant”.
Sarcasm turn up the tempo on the itchy ‘Contrapuntal Forms’. The guitarwork is dark and bent, building into phaser and descending into glorious feedback which bleeds into the intro ‘Digital Colony’.Lyrically ‘Digital Colony’ is dead on point with the Zoom and crypto world we’ve been absorbed into. There’s something super satisfying about the repeated phrase “one to one to zero to one” Structurally it builds tension and opens up to great effect, with a fantastic Sonic Youth breakdown at the end. This breakdown makes the introduction to ‘Caught Hand, Gazing Head’ all the more powerful. It absolutely launches out of the speakers like an aural slap in the face.
It’s a purposeful and aggressive slab of punk.
They close ‘Creeping Life’ with the only song in their back catalogue that exceeds three minutes, ‘Marsh Personage’. There are real gothic undertones at play here, with the choice of effects and the moody atmosphere, reminiscent of contemporaries Es. The unified approach throughout the EP makes this equally an exhilarating and exhausting listen. With the sneering vocal and razor sharp guitars Sarcasm’s sound is one I can get down with.
You may enjoy this if you like Es, Child’s Pose, Sauna Youth, Fontaines DC, The Birthday Party