It’s another Bandcamp Friday! 12 ATL release for your pandemic playlist

It’s another Bandcamp Friday! If you want to spread a some love, support, and a little cash to some local artists today—or any other day for that matter—here’s a quick list of releases I’ve been blasting throughout this whole global pandemic thing.


Warm Red’s debut album, Decades of Breakfast is out now. Vinyl copies should be arriving any day now via State Laughter Records. In the meantime, catch this bit of Atlanta post-punk’s saving grace on Bandcamp. For fans of the Birthday Party, the Jesus Lizard, early Pere Ubu and the likes.



Lowtown has a self-titled, six-song EP posted up on Bandcamp right now. Guitar player and singer Beaux Neal shows off an impressive vocal range, and the group of musicians on the album—singer and guitarist John Pierce, drummer Russell Rockwell, and bass player Aidan Burns—create a rich and mysterious Southern post-indie rock ambiance.



Thousandaire’s self-titled LP (The Colonel Records) has been making the rounds for a few months now, and you know I’ve been championing it from the beginning. The riffs have only become more potent over time. It’s got that Pavement, Superchunk, Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., mid-’80s SST kind of vibe going on, and we could all use a bit more of that in our lives right about now.



Zano Bathroom has a new full-length out, titled Afrikan Sciences Presents: Zano Bathroom’s Universe From A Different Hip Hop. True to the album’s name, this is hip-hop from the outer limits— culled from the same hallowed Huntsville, Alabama soil that transformed the man Herman Poole Blount into the almighty Sun Ra. Zano has never been afraid to dive headlong into some abstract, avant-garde places while honing killer beats and rhymes. For this offering he joins forces with his old cohort Eric Porter aka Afrikan Sciences, and they take hip-hop to deeper into the cosmos than ever before.



Misanthropic Aggression is back with the Covid-19 Reset EP via Boris Records. The tape features six new songs that find bass player and vocalist Jake Benedict taking over drumming duties—at least for this recording—alongside vocalist and guitar player Chris Hammer. The first song to be released from the EP, titled “The Effect of COVID-19 Isolation on the Mind / Unda Nona” is a twisted maze of scream therapy that goes head-on with quarantine/election season anxiety. The Full EP is available on Bandcamp now, with a handful of bundle packages available. Tapes are out November 17.



Adam McIntyre of the Pinx recently released Black Planet, is a twisted rock excursion that finds McIntyre embracing a mixed bag of musical elements (free jazz, funk, and so)—sounds that he’s been denying himself for years, while keeping the Pinx on course as a modern psychedelic rock band from the South.



Symbiote’s latest five-song, Privilege Of A Daydream, blasts five cuts of no nonsense screaming, riffing, classic hardcore, with no real guitar leads to speak of. It’s a powerful and direct release that’s primed for a year of socio-political turmoil.


In August, death rock and goth-punk trio Tears for the Dying unveiled their second full-length, titled Memories. The album was engineered and produced by Tom Ashton of the March Violets, and recorded at Subvon Studio in Athens. Adria Schlenker, Debra Beat, and Candy Cancer shed the keyboard for most of the album’s tracks in favor of a raw, guitar-driven assault—all three members share guitar and bass duties here. Check out that smoldering cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”!



It’s been a minute since Cave Bat last checked in. Cetacean Creation finds the reconfigured experimental musical trio of Nathan Brown, Priscilla Smith, and Phi (Rob Sepanski) returning with a more song-oriented approach to their sci-fi soundscapes.



Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf‘s latest LP, Big Other features four musical pieces that are bursting at the seams with droning beauty, anxiety, texture, and ambiance. The album includes contributions from Jarboe (SWANS), James Joyce (Cheifs, Noot ‘d Noot, Car Vs. Driver), Shannon Mulvaney (MaganpopAnna Kramer, Clobber), Brian Halloran (Smoke, W8ing4UFOs), Billy Fields (Follow For Now, Dionne Farris, W8ing4UFOs), and Xander Cook, with liner notes by author Blake Butler.



Near and dear to my heart, the Cheifs’ four-song 7-inch (Missing Fink Records) stamps in time bass player and vocalist Bob Glassley’s next generation Cheifs lineup—drummer James Joyce, guitarist Scott Hedeen, and vocalist Brad Castlen—expanding beyond the original L.A. hardcore outfits early ‘80s repertoire. It’s an Atlanta punk rock sleeper classic, mixed by Bill Stevenson of the Descendents! I was honored to write the liner notes for this one and final offering from the group.



Duet For Theremin and Lap Steel‘s Scott Burland and Frank Schultz returned this year with a new, eight-song masterpiece of haunting, luminous atmosphere, titled Halocline. Read an interview with Burland and Schultz on RadATL!

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Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks In Hell! A conversation with Jake Benedict of Misanthropic Aggression

FREAK SCENE: Misanthropic Aggression is Tyler Peacock (left), Chris Hammer, and Jake Benedict.
Photo by Alison Benedict.


“Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks in Hell” — it’s a phrase that captures a colorful, albeit accurate, snapshot of most Georgians’ mental state as we grapple with the realities of returning to life after sheltering in place over the last month. It’s also the title cut from Misanthropic Aggression’s latest 7-inch on Boris Records.

On the heels of releasing 2018’s Inability to Cope EP, bass player and lead vocalist Jake Benedict, drummer Tyler Peacock, and singer and guitarist Chris Hammer are back with three-songs that plunge the group’s blend of hardcore, thrash, black metal, death metal, and crust punk into much greater depths. Benedict’s low rumble and Hammer’s demonic shriek create an urgent tension over Peacock’s staccato rhythms. After live-streaming a 7-inch release party on April 20, Benedict took a few minutes to talk about the new songs and finding Misanthropic Aggression’s sound.

The Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks In Hell 7-inch is Misanthropic Aggression’s first new release since 2018, correct?

Yes! The first thing we did after releasing Inability To Cope was to write the song “Blacklisted.” I had already written the guitar riff, so we started arranging it. We worked for about a year and wrote “Black Listed,” then “Retirement From Life (Last Day of Work),” then “Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks In Hell.” Chris came up with the title for that one.

That song feels timely, as many Georgians are struggling with Governor Kemp easing up on the shelter-in-place order. 

Yeah, because you’ve been at home for like a month, drinking too much, and you feel like you’re in hell!

We played with Sanguisugabogg at 529 on March 11, 48 hours before the shit hit the fan. The morning after, I got an email saying my son’s school is canceled effective Monday. He hasn’t been back since.

When we played on March 11, COVID-19 was already here. People were wigging out, about half the normal crowd was there, and people were already wearing masks. They were high-elbowing instead of high-fiving. It was a trippy night.

You know there’s a problem when even the crust punks are washing their hands!

Big time! There was a line out the bathroom door all night, just to use the sink!

“Retired From Life (Last Day Of Work)” is the second entry in a catalog of anti-active shooter songs. “Active Shooter Syndrome (A.S.S.)” from Inability To Cope was about the Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas. I heard the news about it and wrote that song. “Retired From Life …” is about the poor guy who worked in the security shack at the FedEx facility in Kennesaw, maybe six-seven years ago. Basically, he was shot in the gut with a shotgun and lived, but he’s had 80-90 surgeries since then.

I thought about how lyricists like Chris Barnes from Cannibal Corpse write. As a kid, it was terrifying to read first-person perspective songs about being murdered. To twist it in with the urban style that we’ve always had I did a first-person narrative about being killed on the job. I was almost afraid to do it because it’s pretty controversial. But the lyrics are so clearly anti-shooter that it won’t come across like we were glorifying it. But it is supposed to be horrific.


Have you published the lyrics?

The lyrics aren’t posted anywhere yet. I’m such an amateur when it comes to actual music industry stuff. After the records are produced, your PR campaign starts. So as soon as you send off the masters the records get pressed. Then Perfect World Productions, who’s doing our PR, sends out press kits. Once the records come in they get sent out for distribution. Boris Records has distribution through MVD. That takes an additional four weeks. I didn’t know all that, and when we picked the April 20 release date I was working off of my DIY experiences: ‘The records will be here and we’ll get in the van and go!’ The 4/20 release date isn’t official. The distributor’s release date, and the reason it’s not on Spotify or anywhere else yet, is June 8. That’s when I think we’ll post the lyrics.

As soon as we finished this one we turned around and finished a new song for the next record. I want to write about COVID-19, but I need to approach it carefully. It’s a slippery slope talking about this virus; you could easily upset people’s political sensibilities, and I don’t want to be seen as a political band. So I’m figuring out how to approach it lyrically.

That’s tough. The anti-active shooter songs — talking about real-world incidents of gun violence — can easily be construed as being about gun control. It doesn’t get more political than that!

Yeah, it could be taken that way. Personally, I see a pattern of antisocial narcissism at work in these shooters — lonely, loser-types, incels who are incels because they have no personality. I noticed that a lot of them have these traits in common. That’s kind of what made me want to chronicle these incidents, and have more than one song about the subject. The title, “Active Shooter Syndrome,” is a play on “active shooter situation.” In my opinion, there seems to be a syndrome here.

What has changed for the group between these two releases?

It’s a cliché, but we’re figuring out our sound. We had this idea to mix five musical genres: punk, thrash, death metal, black metal, and crust. The first release leaned heavily toward punk and hardcore — we had the cover of SSD’s “Boiling Point.” There were hints of death metal, especially in the long musical section in “Herd Rejector/Unbound Descent,” which Chris composed. There are some sludgy parts, some death metal parts. With the new release we went for more of a first wave black metal sound. If you listen to the long section right after the first chorus in “Alcoholic … ,” it has a second wave, almost Gorgoroth or golden era Dark Thrown back-and-forth going on. Real grim black metal. There’s a lot going on in that song, and I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but I’m really proud of it.

MISANTHROPIC AGGRESSION: Chris Hammer (clockwise from left), Jake Benedict, and Tyler Peacock.
Photo by Chad Radford


Tell me about the sample at the beginning of “Alcoholic …”

Chris did that. It’s the voice of James Dickey, who was a poet laureate in ‘66. He wrote Deliverance.

The lyrics for that song are two-pronged. I have developed alcoholic polyneuropathy, I guess from drinking liquor for 13 years. I’ve started getting real bad tingling in my hands and feet, my skin and scalp crawl, I break out in hives. So the lyrics are about my personal experiences with it, but it’s also a warning to learn better coping mechanisms than substances. It’s definitely in keeping with my amateur psychology that I like to incorporate.

At the end of “Alcoholic …” we take a hard left turn into a weird death metal theme, which is a riff that I wrote. Sometimes I’ll write parts for Chris, but in this song, the whole end, I said, “You do whatever the hell you want, man. These are the parts I wrote. This is the subject matter. Run with it.

Impetigo is a gore-grind band from Illinois, from the late ’80/early ‘90s. They rule, and their vocals have a real strong influence with all the echo and trippy, kind of rubber banding in and out that you hear.

ALCOHOLIC POLYNEUROPATHIC FREAKS IN HELL: Artwork by Warhead Art.


Who did the artwork? 

The artwork was done by a Ukranian artist who goes by Warhead Art. He’s done three pieces for us — he did the centerpiece. Chris did the layout. The art is in the middle, and there’s a frame with little stars in the corners. Chris did those, and hand-drew the “Alcoholic Neuropathic Freaks In Hell” logo around it. The stars represent the synapses misfiring in your body due to alcoholic polyneuropathy. It’s what causes the pain, which I thought was a cool idea. The photo on the back with the bricks was taken at the ruins of an old civil war-era mill — Nickajack Creek — up near Smyrna. 

The idea was to keep it real simple. No lyrics sheet, no insert, no thank you list. It’s just three songs. The whole thing is influenced by the old Amoebix, Anti Cimex 7-inches; real simple, old-school hardcore shit.