Y is for Yankee Brutal
The Everlasting Greed
Dying Scene Records, 2012
So Dying Scene is one of my favorite sites to go for punk news. In addition to being a great site to hear about tours and new bands and other news, they have a digital record label on bandcamp. There’s some good stuff on there, like the new Stray Bullets record, Texas hardcore punks Some Nerve, and New Mexicans Stabbed in Back. But my favorites are Sacramento’s Yankee Brutal. Playing punk rock on the heavier spectrum with some thrashy guitar riffs and pissed off vocals, Yankee Brutal have a political consciousness that hits as heavy as their music. Politically scathing lyrics, lightning quick guitars, some skillful riffs, and lots of whoas, Yankee Brutal remind me a lot of the heavier punk bands like Death by Stereo.
The Everlasting Greed, as you can probably infer from the cover art, holds nothing back in its social and political critiques. The title track calls out the business of business, with the spitting chorus of “So the tyrants can feed on money / Pour the oil straight down our throats / How do you not see the everlasting greed? / It's all around you.” In “Revolt,” Yankee Brutal lay out exactly their plan of attack: “I'm here to shine the light on all the things you'd never wanna see / Like all the poverty, greed, tyranny and senseless gluttony / They have us on our knees.” “Revolt” is set like a sing-along, at a blazing pace, in which you get to yell “Revolt! Revolt!”We also get their attack on complacency with “United Stagnant:” “So sick of this town / Sick of their faces / Sick of the crowd and my generation / Sick of the greed in this hellbound nation / Sick of it all.” Typical punk fare, but Yankee Brutal’s lyrical frankness and vocal deliveries make these lines stand out. When lines like “I am trying to believe / In some kind of hope / But the world gets in my way / And I think we're all screwed,” from “Petulance” are so violently screamed in your face, it can be hard to look around them.
Mix some fantastic riffs, like at the beginning of “TLTSTW,” or “Homesick (Hello Me)” and “Revolt” with some blazing hardcore like “Manifest Treachery,” “American; the Unjust,” or “Petulance” and The Everlasting Greed starts to traverse the line that separates punk from metal. It can be a tough thing to do, to blend these disparate elements into a complete whole. They mix parts not just within songs, but across the whole of the record, and you can feel where the punk influences are stronger (the lyrics, the whoas) and where the metal influences weigh in (some of the vocal deliveries, the guitar riffs and solos). If you are into bands like Death by Stereo or Strung Out, Yankee Brutal is probably something you’d enjoy. Below is the only live video of them I could find. It shows they opened up for Suicidal Tendencies, which seems very appropriate.