Punk rock quartet The So So Glos released Kamikaze, their third full-length album, on May 20th via Votiv Music. Fervently embracing many punk ideals, the band is admirably community-minded.
In 2008, a year after the official formation of The So So Glos (three of the four members have known one another since kindergarten), the band founded The Market Hotel. Two years later they would found Shea Stadium in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Both venues are all ages and have become staples of the New York music scene.
Musically, The So So Glos have always played loud, obsessively catchy songs. In this way they resemble another famous quartet of New York punk rockers, The Ramones. Not only do both bands have a knack for infectious anthems, but they hail from outer boroughs as well. That fact might seem insignificant—it’s all New York, right?—but the difference between Manhattan and the other boroughs is the difference between the top dogs and the underdogs. It is only natural then that one of the band’s venues is named after The Mets’ old stadium.
Kamikaze finds The So So Glos taking aim at the biggest dog of them all, technology. Sure, it is commonly tread ground, but the band excels at embedding the issue into its songs and does it with a sense of self-reflection. “Kings County II: Ballad of a So So Glo” tells the stories of two “First World narcissists” who “fall in love with [their] own reflection[s], glowing on a 4-inch screen.” The song’s perspective changes in the final verse as the narrator reflects that he is “standing in some parking lot, staring into [his] phone” and is forced to accept that he is similar to the others in the story than he wants to admit.
The insidious effect technology can have makes it an even more formidable opponent, but then the bigger Goliath is, the more appealing rooting for David becomes.