Technical punk rock is alive and thriving - in Europe. But in the United States, you’ll be much harder pressed to find a band in your local scene that plays this iteration of the genre. If you’re lucky enough to find one, they’re still likely to be plagued by poor musicianship or lackluster songwriting. Does New York City’s Shrug Dealer defy these stereotypes? Who fuckin’ knows, but they’ve spent the last three years doing their damndest.
If 2018’s self-titled debut EP was any sign of the Shape of Shrug Dealer to come, then 2021’s Infested is the fulfillment of that promise. The new 8-track EP (what the hell is an EP anyway?) is a meticulously constructed statement of what punk rock could be - daring yet familiar; nostalgic yet new; bravely blunt, yet melodically sweet ear candy. It’s these conflicting realities that make Infested what it is. It’s putting fun (“Skate and Decoy”) head-to-head with your frustrations (“Participation Trophies”); mixing the deadly serious (“Summer Camp”) with the absurdly stupid (“Get to the Point”); and balancing your internal critiques (“Tilt Mode”) with your external (“The Call of the Epigon”, “Desperate Housewives of Ada County”). Of course, there’s a little showing off, too (“Please Turn off the Gramophone”). But all-in-all, Infested is simply what it is - a subconscious and brash statement that says “This is Shrug Dealer. Take it or leave it.” - Gene Scallops
HHR035 - Shrug Dealer "Infested"09/30/2022
Hidden Home Records, ByPolar Records
HHR030 - Shrug Dealer "First EP"06/25/2021
Hidden Home Records