One of Charleston’s only true punk bands, Anergy, just released their debut EP, Anergy Drink. A follow-up to their politically-fueled debut single, “Not My President”, the band took this EP as an opportunity to show off different facets of the band. The opportunity was not wasted.
Starting with “Off His Pills,” Anergy keeps a vibe that is reminiscent of their single: rough around the edges punk that pays tribute to 90s thrash, but at an easier-to-manage tempo. With ripping vocals and a noisy-ass guitar solo, it delivers something that Charleston is in serious need of: guts.
“Dark Story” channels Rage Against the Machine alongside mild versions of mid 2000s hardcore. The track fantasizes violence against a past lover, or perhaps someone their lover cheated with? They’re violently upset, is the point. The repeated line “fuck you” about sums it up.
“Failskate” starts with guitar upstrokes that can only mean one thing: ska incoming! The dancy drumbeat comes in to reinforce this notion, but as the song develops, there’s no ska in sight. Instead it’s … it’s 80s punk! This one wound up being my favorite on the EP, bringing some Dead Kennedys style instrumentation into a sense of general paranoia. The vocals on this track sound the best by a long shot, channeling a bit of surf-punk. If Anergy wants to excel in Charleston’s music scene, they should write more songs like this one. If they just want to stick their middle fingers up at everyone, well… they’re doing just great.
“Antibody” brings it back home to the sound I associate with Anergy, a slowed down kind of thrash, but with a bit of that heaviness they showed us earlier in the EP. The extensive guitar solos keep things interesting without feeling overdrawn, and the drumming is definitely the best I’ve heard from them.
The closing track, “Bi in the Bible Belt” was the biggest disappointment on the EP. First off, the song is about someone *else* being Bi in the Bible Belt. My hopes of hearing an angry punk guy expend some first-hand accounts of LGBTQ+ struggles in South Carolina were squandered right off. The vocals in the verses are, well, it’s kind of hard not to laugh at them. It’s not that they’re disingenuous, it just doesn’t work. When a deep growling voice over thin chords sings in staccato, “She hangs out with les-bians,” I just can’t keep myself together. The tag for the chorus is a swing and a miss. I’m gonna go back and listen to “Failskate” now.
All in all, I was satisfied with Anergy Drink. I’ll give it a Chill 3 out of 5 rating. Listen below.