This ‘Institute’ review was written by ‘Rita Vicinanza‘, a GIGsoup contributor.
Texas band ‘Institute’ (not to be confused with the now defunct Gavin Rossdale-led band of the same name) release their debut LP this week. Offering a brash and raucous punk sound ‘Catharsis’ has now been unapologetically un-leashed to the masses.
With the identity matter out of the way, the attention naturally veers to the freshly-published music. The band’s first effort deserves recognition for being of an unconventional archetype – punk at its core, yet blending elements from other genres. In fact, while the record presents all the characteristics generally associated with the punk movement in its musical form, it also features influences from other sub-cultures, each with their own personal representation.
With the screams, pressing rhythms, hard-edged melodies and spitted lyrics, ‘Catharsis’ boasts more than the usual anarchic-inspired sounds. As its title openly suggests, Institute’s album is perhaps either the result of, or a hoped-for emotional, release.
And indeed, from the very beginning, listeners are invited into the disillusioned world of somebody who’s (been?) in a ‘Perpetual Ebb’. Songs titles such as ‘I Am Living Death’ or ‘Cheerlessness’ are misleading – their fast-paced structure will surely please punk aficionados and may even appeal to those who have a liking to dancing if the tempo is right, no matter what the genre.
The lyrics, however, reveal an intense, inspired penning process which must have stemmed from a more personal perspective. More than often the words aren’t hymns to rebellion, they’re angry, bitter bullets but they’re not addressed to the corrupted system, they are self-loathing confessions. Even some compositions border onto post-hardcore, with their gloomy atmospheres and low-key guitar loops, at times flowing into instrumental suites like the simple, repetitive strumming in ‘Untitled’ or the lengthy ‘Christian Right’.
On the whole, unusual sounds and themes make for an interesting debut record. Punk fans expecting an essentially mainstream product may be disappointed. However, this is an opportunity to widen ones horizons – after all, even bands do.
‘Catharsis’ is out now on Sacred Bones
The full track-listing for ‘Catharsis’ is as follows…
‘Admit I’m Shit’
‘I Am Living Death’
‘No Billowing Wind’