Since Pete Swanson's 2011 album Man With Potential, the rhythmic motion that lurked in the background of his former group Yellow Swans' music has been wrenched further to the surface, crystallising itself in gravelly kick drums and assorted grubby percussion. The majority of mini-album Punk Authority sounds even more degraded than MWP and last year's Type follow-up Pro Style. Its four tracks would provide little respite for those attempting to dance, instead screaming into action in an unrelenting churn of oil, steam and grit.
In their evocations of sheer overload, these tracks are in line with Swanson's recent live sets, where everything was crushed together into an unbroken wall of pulsating rhythmic noise. The title track lumbers around like a demented cousin of something The Bug would make—its warping bass tears through its surroundings as casually as a wrecking ball through a brick wall. It's coarse, ugly and utterly thrilling, as is the ultra-distorted "C.O.P."
As with any noise music where volume and intensity are forced to a level well beyond the body's capacity to cope, it's not long before Punk Authority ceases to feel abrasive and is instead perceived as soothing, continuous streams of sound. This full-body immersion effect is thoroughly invigorating rather than oppressive, and frequently far more moving than you might expect. The soft brass chorus that courses through "Life Ends At 30" is as lovely and melancholic as the slurred fanfares of a Philip Jeck record, despite the harshness of its surroundings.
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Tracklist: Pete Swanson - Punk Authority01. Punk Authority
03. Grounds For Arrest
04. Life Ends At 30