Review: Not Your Friends – Constructing a Mental Breakdown (self-released, Aug 28)

Even at a modest ten minutes, there’s no shortage of descriptors that would accurately describe Constructing a Mental Breakdown; but the one that seems to sum it up the best is that it’s a fucking BLAST. The unnamed members of Pittsburgh quartet Not Your Friends—all we get are a collection of extremely vulgar nicknames—tear through a dizzying maelstrom of inventive extreme music over the course of their debut release, a bulbous amalgam of crushing blast beat sections sewn together by quirky no wave guitar contortions, melodic style adventures, and some of the most terrifyingly hateful vocal delivery I’ve heard all year. Constructing a Mental Breakdown has both a great sense of humor (just try not to laugh at the final pair of tracks) and a depressingly relevant social agenda, with lyrics condemning a white male-coddling culture and outlining the disturbing process of trauma-induced dissociation; it manages to remind me of some of my favorite music (Hayworth’s I Hope the Thunder and Lightning Kill You, Destroy All Operating Systems’ Change, and there’s even a brief moment on “Sweet Serenity” where I swear that Boredoms’ “Machine 3” is about to play) while remaining defiantly unique; and with all proceeds going to Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, there’s absolutely no excuse not to buy it.