When we posted a review of Screaming Females’ June appearance in Boston, little did we here at Junkyard Arts know it would open the doors to an explosive New Jersey punk scene. We recently were introduced to New Brunswicks’ BLACK WINE, who just released their second full-length album, Summer of Indifference, on Don Giovanni Records.
I’ve listened to the album from start to finish three times, and I’m still surprised.
Every track stands strong on its’ own, a testament to the group’s production values, influences and past bands. Guitarist-vocalist Jeff Schroeck, of The Ergs, formed the group in 2010 with Hunchbacks’ drummer Miranda Taylor and bassist J Nixon and combined a heavy rhythm section with pop-punk sensibilities. Summer of Indifference has tracks that show traces of the Pixies and Dinosaur Jr.’s brutal guitar riffs and melodic vocals (“Through the Foam”), while other songs capture the earnest brutality exemplified by The Minutemen (“Favorites”).
What is really interesting is on most of the tracks where one style dominates, the other makes its presence strongly known. It’s as if a pop-punk band is morphing, a la Jekyll and Hyde, into a hardcore act. The dynamic shines through on “Iceball” and “No Seasons”.
While the nine tracks on Summer of Indifference stand well by themselves, the album as a whole feels a bit disjointed. That’s not to say every song on every album needs to sound the same. That would suck. But there is a noticeable lack of cohesion that makes listening to the album straight through difficult at times. It doesn’t mean I won’t listen to the album again. In fact, I plan on seeing Black Wine live if they every make it up this way. The back and forth of styles displayed on Summer of Indifference just means there is a good song to fit pretty much any mood.
Pick up Black Wine’s Summer of Indifference either digitally or on vinyl at Don Giovanni Records.