Review: Bandit – Warsaw (self-released, Dec 30)

Philadelphia ‘gutter punk’ maniacs Bandit snuck this new EP out right before the end of last year, and as a result it went unnoticed by many people, including me (okay, I don’t know if ‘many’ is accurate, I just want to project my obliviousness onto others). But all it takes is one listen of Warsaw for it to lodge itself inside your head. The short eight-track set expands upon the chaotic grinding punk cocktail the band cooked up on their last major release, Self Inflicted, in virtually every way. From the four count blast beat that topples into “Lomza,” the energy never dips, and every single track is short and fine-tuned. Songs like “New Rochelle” and “Satisfaction Denied” introduce a hint of a mathcore element with the chunky guitar chugs and rhythm changes, but thankfully there are no indulgent breakdowns or sludge meanderings to be found; any periods of slowness are almost immediately ground up and pushed into a wood chipper. Warsaw falls short of even as many minutes as songs it has, but there is a formidable amount of creativity and emotion poured into these songs, with plenty of badass lyrical moments (“In my mind I’ve watched you die countless times” comes to mind). Nearly three minutes of the EP’s run time is reserved for an excerpt of what I’m pretty sure is Irena Santor’s “Ej, Przeliciał Ptaszek,” a fittingly contrastive outro that feels more than earned—and by the end, I’m ready to listen all over again.

“The hopeless romantic, dreaming of the guillotine.”