Just last year, Culture Abuse, a San Francisco punk band that writes extremely catchy songs, released Bay Dream, their second album and their first for bigger label Epitaph. Culture Abuse are a sort of unicorn band, and they straddle all sorts of seemingly impossible lines. They can play with hardcore ferocity, and they work very much within a punk context, coming up out of the Bandcamp underground and continuing to tour with bands like Turnstile. But they also write breezy low-life anthems that would’ve been right at home on ‘90s alt-rock radio. They’ve got charisma, and they’re fun. It seems like they should be a big deal, to the extent that a rock band even can be a big deal anymore.
Right now, Culture Abuse are preparing to head out on a big headlining tour. They’re playing shows with a whole lot of eclectic but simpatico artists, including power-pop wizard Tony Molina, scabby underground rap king Lil Ugly Mane, Fucked Up side project Young Guv, and Title Fight side project Poison Thorn. Should be a a good time! And by to mark the beginning of that tour, they’ve shared a video for a new jam called “Goo.”
“Goo,” which has nothing to do with Sonic Youth, is an extremely charming two-minute bop with basically zero punk-rock ferocity. Instead, it’s a classic power-pop ditty, driven by strummy acoustic guitars and lighter-than-air synths. In the video, which band frontman David Kelling co-directed with Barbara Georges, we see grainy images of band members fucking around below.
Bay Dream is out now on Epitaph. “Goo” is out now on the streaming services and at Bandcamp.