Record Review: Serious Problems

Serious Problems
2011 EP
Richmond, VA

“Punky Brew-sters”

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The adage goes that if you like one hardcore band, you like them all.  Stripped down, raw, and blistering – lightning tempos, aggressive strumming, lyrics spat at you as much as sang – you either like the scene or you don’t.  The boys in Serious Problems stay pretty close to the archetype on their debut EP but with a wider range of influences than your everyday, pissed off punk trio.  As such, the boys have found enough spice for a solid post-hardcore sound, and have delivered an equally solid debut.

A self-proclaimed excuse for some buddies “to get together on Friday and Saturday nights to drink booze,” Serious Problems apparently woke up Sunday morning with a 5-song EP hangover.  And as it goes with hardcore garage punk, five songs are generally all you need anyway.

Over the course of the EP, the hardcore hallmarks are all there – thrashing two-minute songs full of disaffected ferocity.  However, that ferocity is shouted at you by a singer who occasionally (gasp!) approaches a melodic line.  And that thrashing is peppered with precise and slicing guitar solos – there are even backing vocals! With that variety, all told it’s a developed and impressive debut for just a couple of drinking buddies.  Beer and guitars will do that. (Self-released)

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