Two years ago, Philly punks Dark Thoughts released their self-titled debut album, and it immediately made them a sensation in underground-DIY-punk circles. (It feels a bit ridiculous to talk about something becoming a basement-show sensation, but, I mean, people really liked that album.) Dark Thoughts play a simple, straight-ahead, fired-up, Ramones-style take on pop-punk. It’s a very easy sound to like, and they play the hell out of it.
Since then, Dark Thoughts have been banging out their sophomore album At Work, and they’ve also been letting us hear early versions of those songs. In a few cassette releases — Halloween Tape, Winter Tape, Live! On WKDU — they’ve put lo-fi demo versions of those tracks out into the world. And while they posted those cassettes on Bandcamp, they took them all down quickly enough.
But now, the new album At Work is finally here, and it’s even better than those tapes hinted at. This is a short, bruising album full of furious riffs and canny hooks, and the transition between the vulnerable love song “With You” and the straight-up rager “Watch You Walk Away” is a beautiful thing. One listen in, I think it’s fair to call this one of the best punk albums of the year. Stream it below.
At Work is out now, and you can name your own price to buy it at Bandcamp.