The great Philadelphia DIY band Dark Thoughts play classic old-school Ramones-style punk rock, and they play it with more verve and delight than any band I’ve heard in years. Dark Thoughts’ whole sound is extremely, overwhelmingly simple: Fast riffs, catchy hooks, one-minute songs, absolutely zero room for anything that smells like experimentation. And they rule at it. Today, the band came out with their third album. This is excellent news.
Must Be Nice, the new Dark Thoughts album, follows the band’s excellent self-titled 2016 debut and the even better 2018 follow-up At Work. The new album doesn’t sound exactly like the previous two; there’s a bit more focus on melody, and the band seems a bit more conscious of the fact that they’re writing anthems now. The gorgeous album-ending title track even has a damn keyboard. But it’s not like Dark Thoughts are taking their collective foot off the gas this time. Must Be Nice jams 12 songs into something like 18 minutes.
We’ve already posted the early single “Do You Dream.” The full album is out now, and it kicks serious ass. You can listen to it below.
Also, I can’t believe this snuck by me, but Dark Thoughts frontman Jim Shomo has another band now, and they’ve got a record out, too. Shomo leads the new band Loose Nukes, which also features two former members of Blood Pressure, the merciless and misanthropic Pittsburgh hardcore band that broke up at the end of last year. Loose Nukes make fast, feral hardcore punk, and they’re good at it. In September, they released their EP Behind The Screen, and it’s even more concise than a Dark Thoughts album. Eight songs in less than 10 minutes! They respect your time! Check it out below.
Dark Thoughts’ Must Be Nice is out now, and you can get it at Bandcamp. The physical editions are coming soon on Stupid Bag Records and Drunken Sailor Records. Loose Nukes’ Behind The Screen is out now on Beach Impediment Records.