Invertebrates – Demo

10.3.22 by Matty McPherson

If my brother is sending me a punk tape and I really haven’t a proper clue of what Im to do with it, I let it sizzle. I’d dub this an act of tender love and affection, but the truth is I should of had six minutes sooner! if you have six minutes, you should just do the right thing and take every tape as a study break from real work–enough to study those differences between the shades of hardcore punk; this is real scholarly activity that puts you on the level of Zorn! Such was the case with my excursion listening to Invertebrates, a Richmond, VA based punk quartet that my brother happened to make posters for and somehow knew to save me a tape. Thanks brother, I dearly appreciated this.

Anyways, with limited promotion, Raleigh, NC-based label Sorry State Records and Invertebrates seemed to quickly and quietly sell out of two runs of tapes for this demo. Exactly what was the fuss? Well Chubb, Merm, Jerry, and Minx–some of which are members of Public Aid and “NC punk legends WRIGGLE”–hashed out a bonafide burst of hardcore, pristine ’82 vintage energy; any SST tape hound who thinks “Spot-handshake deal” production is the pinnacle of guitar music will find joy in these 4 cuts. They screen printed the tapes, with slight deviations between the covers. It’s a power move that genuinely indicates “this ain’t no crapshoot, but a quality product that is one of a kind and yours to cherish.”

Over the course of nearly six minutes, the quartet hit the ground with mad-capper energy, power chords, and an unwieldy good time. It’s not so much that this does extend quite well to the pits of Gonerfest or the pages of Maximum Rock n’ Roll, but that these little energy burst is primed and directed with finesse. Clearly, these 4 tracks are explosive, but its a precise “carpet-bomb” type of explosion they burst out. Even while all the cuts are kept to the red (with vocals delivered over a collect call line from hell), there’s a significant push-and-pull melody that keeps a zany, unkempt swagger; the kind that ebbs and flows enough to tell that even if the guitar is slashing and going “AWOOGA,” its the drums who run the tempo and dictate the direction. Such is in particular on Shit Pit’s devious breakdown and shotgun rush blast beats that practically kick the tempo up high enough to force the guitar solo to speed up.

Demo sold out at all sources, although it remains name your price, with all proceeds going to the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. Chip in, won’t you?