The Enemies / Pitch Black: self-titled

The Enemies / Pitch Black
The Enemies / Pitch Black

God, I must be getting old. Only three days past my twenty-eighth birthday, and it already feels like I’ve turned some kind of corner, crossed some invisible boundary line. How can I tell? Well, much as it pains me to say it, the answer’s sadly simple: punk rock’s just not doing it for me anymore. It’s almost like being a junkie, I guess; I used to live for Agent Orange, Social Distortion, and Op. Ivy, but after listening to stuff like Refused, Frodus, or Harriet the Spy, how can plain-jane California punk really compare? The time has come to put away childish things, yadda, yadda — the music of my youth (okay, my college years, at least) is just too tame and normal for me these days. The whole mess makes me sad.

Unfortunately for the two bands involved, this little revelation happened to hit while attempting to listen to this new Enemies/Pitch Black split. On the face of it, this CD sounds like a pretty good idea: two not-real-well-known East Bay punk bands together on one split-CD. Why not? What could be better than a double helping of good old SF-style punk rawk? Of course, the endeavor itself could be a signal that something’s not quite right; after all, uh, why don’t these bands deserve their own full-length each? Okay, I won’t deny that my foot taps when I listen to tracks like The Enemies’ “Seize the Day”, but so what? My foot also twitches when I hear that horrible “crawling in my skin” song on the radio, and that song itself makes me vaguely nauseous, so I’ve got to find a better indicator of like/dislike, I’m afraid.

The fact of the matter is that both bands, The Enemies and Pitch Black, play by-the-numbers punk rock, with lots of crunching, dangerous-sounding guitars, vocalists who yell more than sing, and plenty of leather and the color black. (I will admit, though, that I do dig Pitch Black’s jack-o-lantern costuming, and their use of spooky-ooky organ is intriguing.) If that’s your thing, well, hey, this is probably for you. Time was, it probably would’ve been my thing, too.