Say what you want about what’s become of the punk rock genre, but with all the complaints about it becoming diluted or manipulated until it’s suitable for the masses, there’s still a place for the ugly and the unapologetic. Most people correlate punk with the UK, New York City, or the West Coast, sparking a debate of where ‘real’ punk resides but as any fan of the genre and subculture could tell you, authenticity is far more important to the movement than geographical location. With that said the last place expected to find interesting unadulterated punk was Fayetteville Arkansas.
Being from Chicago I’m a firm believer in location having nothing to do with a scene being authentic or not. I mean it’s incredibly naive and unfair to classify every guitarist in my city as a ‘blues’ musician, every artists from Nashville as country, or every musician in southern California as a surfer. What I find most interesting about the Fayetteville band Ten High is the fact they are not trying to prove to anyone how authentic they are with hype or marketing, they’re just a legitimately good punk rock band.
From the NYC based indie label Greenway Records, comes Ten High’s label debut Pipe Dream, a one-two punch combo of rock n’ raw punk anthems on limited pressed vinyl. The title track begins with an almost evil, dire warning “This is a pipe dream….” for ripping into a distorted wall of thrash, noise and beauty. Snotty vocals, frantic lead guitar, and unexpected harmonies throughout the chorus that begs the listener to sing along while kicking up a dirt storm in a mosh pit. The B side “Get It Together” is equal parts Black Flag and Atari Teenage Riot with it’s discord groove and knife-fight chorus.
With my first listen, I could almost picture being in a seedy underground club in Hell’s Kitchen, sharing the floor with the city’s most dangerous citizens, or tagging anarchy symbols on subway cars with green spray paint in a train yard. These two songs single handedly prove the point that location has nothing to do with authenticity. Throughout the mere minutes of both tracks, there isn’t one millisecond of pretentious showboating. Just straight up thrash punk just the way the forefathers intended.
Between Greenway’s Coke-bottle splatter, and milky clear variants, Pipe Dream is limited to 300 copies making it extremely rare right after rolling off the assembly line. With such a small number pressed I expect this 7″ becoming very elusive within the next coming months. With releases this year from Past Life, Rachel Haden, and Black Temple Shrines, Greenway Records has quickly become one of the most consistent vinyl labels on the indie scene, and Ten High is a perfect fit among their finest releases this year! Get your copy today!
For more info on Ten High, visit their Facebook page.
To purchase Pipe Dream on limited edition, visit Greenway Records