VHS – “Public Act” (Stereogum Premiere)

VHS – “Public Act” (Stereogum Premiere)

Clamorous Seattle punks VHS (Violent Human System) make a great brand of controlled chaos that can alter your mood, mind frame, and movement with barrages of rhythm and reflective lyrics. They’re as pessimistic and ornery as jaded senior citizens, but with the youthful energy to express it in a way that isn’t easy to ignore. The quartet is set to drop their debut full-length Gift of Life this summer, and an early taste of the album comes in the form of “Public Act.”

The song is a frenetic frenzy of ringing, fuzzy, rhythmic guitar layers and an infectious bass line punctuated by rumbling drums. The aesthetic drops you in the middle of a frantic feeling of being fraught with worry and anxiety and frontman Josh Hageman’s lyrics double down. That may sound like a horrible sensation to evoke, but when it’s this adeptly translated, the effect is surprisingly stirring. Here’s what Hageman had to say about the cut:

“Public Act” is about paranoia becoming fact. That sense of being constantly observed in a way that’s completely out of anyone’s control. Anytime anyone leaves their house they’re on camera in one way or another, and it’s become accepted as normal and also accepted as entertainment. But I’m not comfortable with it and I’m not entertained by it. It scares me.

Check it out.

Tour dates:

06/24 Seattle WA @ Black Lodge (Record Release Show) w/ Kinski, Dreamdecay
06/25 Vancouver BC @ The Astoria
07/08 Seattle WA, @ Chop Suey w/Absolute Monarchs
08/06 Seattle, @ The Funhouse (Pizza Fest)
08/29 Tukwila WA @ Lucky Liquor w/Tenement

Here’s a photo of the band:


Gift Of Life is out 5/27 on Suicide Squeeze. Pre-order it here.

more from New Music