p.s.you’redead offer a remarkable, chaotic hardcore debut LP with ‘Sugar Rot’ (full album stream)
Buffalo's p.s.you'redead formed in early 2020, almost by accident. Guitarist/vocalist Lilith Crimi had been writing and demoing songs for another band she was going to join, but it didn't pan out so she got some friends together, put the finishing touches on the demo, and released it in March of 2020, just as lockdown was beginning nationwide. It wasn't the most ideal time to launch a new band, but p.s.you'redead quickly caught on within various corners of the underground post-hardcore scene, and by the end of 2021, they'd released two splits -- one with Mikau and one with Kurama, Thotcrime, and The Queen Guillotined -- both of which were among the year's best. Across those releases, p.s.you'redead showed off a knack for chaotic sasscore/whitebelt revival that pulled from bands like The Locust and The Number Twelve Looks Like You, and added in a dancey twist inspired by bands like Death From Above 1979. Lilith half-jokingly coined it "danceviolence" ("just a goofy thing I thought of and people ended up liking it so we just kept going with it"), and it caught on because it 1) sounds awesome and 2) perfectly describes p.s.you'redead's music.
This Friday (2/25), p.s.you'redead will put out their first full-length, Sugar Rot, via Paper Wings and Chillwavve, and it entirely makes good on the promise of those early releases. Produced by Jon Wisniewski, it's got 12 songs, three of which are re-recorded versions of songs from the first demo. Most of them are around one or two minutes long, and they pack so much chaos into a short running time. Throughout these tracks, they touch on mathcore insanity, metalcore breakdowns, glittery synths, throat-shreddding screams, shouted sass parts, and more. On the airy mid-section of "True Confessions of a Former Punisher," they show off a genuinely pretty side, and on the title track, they go full-on hyperpop. ("We’ve always liked having an electronic element to our music and thought it’d be fun to have a song that fully embraced that," Lilith said.) It's discordant, abrasive, in your face, and a lot to take in, and it's also a ton of fun. And underneath the often-ridiculous musical surface are some deeply serious lyrical concerns. "A lot of it is about my struggles with addiction and mental health and being angry at the situations that lead me there," Lilith says. "There’s a few songs on there too about my frustration with the amount of abusers and predators within the scene that are called out almost daily yet nothing seems to change."
Because of the way p.s.you'redead took off during the pandemic and quickly made connections with bands from all across the country, it can seem like their scene is "the internet," but coming from a hardcore epicenter like Buffalo has had a profound impact on their music too. "Growing up in Buffalo has been a huge part of why I love heavy music," Lilith said. "It was awesome being like 12 or 13 going to local shows for the first time it seemed like back then there was a hardcore or punk show almost every night." Buffalo hardcore took a big hit when Every Time I Die broke up ("ETID absolutely had an impact, everyone in the band loves them and it was so great to have a local band to look up to like that"), but the scene is still thriving and still producing great new bands. p.s.you'redead is a testament to that.
p.s.you'redead are already working on LP2, and they plan to announce a tour soon, so stay tuned for that. Sugar Rot officially comes out tomorrow, but a stream of the full thing premieres right here...