Home Read Albums Of The Week: Desperate Living | Shame

Albums Of The Week: Desperate Living | Shame

The Philadelphia noise-punks come off loud and proud on this thundering concept EP — just read the song titles in order if you want to know the six-track set's message.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Noise-rock grime and punk rock exuberance unite on Desperate Living’s new EP Shame. Wild-eyed vocals and sludgy tones bring to mind the likes of Unsane or Uniform, but a driving beat assures that this is a party, not a funeral. Desperate Living’s intensity is more hip-shaking and fist-pumping than wrist-slitting; the band’s bursts of vitriol and swagger could enrapture a theater full of The Bronx fans and a basement full of AmRep nihilists on the same night.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Desperate Living consist of four lifelong friends and veterans of such outfits as The Minor Times, Ladder Devils and Legendary Divorce. Traces of those stellar bands’ sounds haunt the mix, but in Desperate Living, singer-guitarist Brian Medlin, guitarist Timothy Leo, bassist Scott Signorino and drummer Jonathan Van Dine have chosen to burn the complexity of past projects and go for a stripped-down, runaway-steamroller approach.

Medlin says the EP’s six pummeling songs are connected, with the lyrics exploring “the relationship between shame and truth.” Recorded by Mark Watter at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia, Shame is the band’s first release for Reptilian Records. It follows two EPs — New Concrete (2019) and City Sadness (2020) — on Brutal Panda. The cover art was created by Jake Vanderlinde of the band The Cloth (also Reptilian).

With a name lifted from a John Waters film, Desperate Living are here to do what they please. “I like that film because it feels like there are absolutely no rules,” states guitarist Leo. “Anything can happen.” Take about 20 minutes out of your own complex adult life to ditch some responsibilities and turn this up VERY fucking loud!”


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