To celebrate their tenth anniversary as a collaboration effort, Seattle-based punk rock band, Suburban Vermin, is set to release their “TV HEAD NATION” project, which is a 4 part Comic and accompanying EP series. The storyline follows the sorts of an evil alien warlord by the name of King TV Head who rules with an iron fist. Elected by the people of the United States, his reign of terror is swift, incarcerating those who stray too far from his own views. His robotic army, the TV Head Minions, help enforce his grueling rule. Issue # 0 (released May 6th) contains the songs “Bleed For Me” and “Lola”. Issue # 1 (released July) has the songs “Die Miss America” and “It’s Over. Issue # 2 (September) includes the tracks “Different Note (2017)” and “Beat Before The Breakdown”. Issue # 3 (November) showcases the songs “Little Miss Suicide (2017)”. The official series will be preceded by a FREE pre-release out on May the 4th which includes the song “The Awakening”.
The comics were conceptualized by Suburban Vermin bass player Jason Vermin, while the issues were written by Dan Rafter. The music that accompanies the Comic series was recorded by Shad Woodman at Decade Souns in Tacoma, WA. Suburban Vermin is made up of Amanda Gamino (Guitars, Vocals), Jason Vermin (Bass, Vocals) and Ali Han (Drums, Vocals).
If you know Suburban Vermin, you should know this is an unbelievably brilliant, sonically epic, throat-punching, devastating music series. If you don’t already know the two previous statements to be unwaveringly true, you should stop listening to whatever current top 40 hits the radio is playing on constant repeat.
If you’re still not sure, punch yourself in the face and wait until May the 6th, and then listen to some of the best punk music ever written. Period. When you hit play on “Bleed For Me”, found on Issue # 0, the band gets right into the matter and the raging hardcore tone of the song fits the strained yell vocals perfectly. Musically, Suburban Vermin is still in frenetic first gear, proudly sticking to its well-tested formula of power chords, racing drums, and thumping basslines.
Suburban Vermin have come a very long way. They’ve been around for about 10 years – an eternity for modern bands – and they’re still making damn good punk music. “Lola” has a slightly slower tempo, but what it loses in speed it makes up in dirty, crunchy, and chugging overdriven guitars.
Issue # 1 kicks off with another high speed punk rocker entitled “Die Miss America”. The track features some stunning bass riffs and the usual driven vocals. “It’s Over” showcases a sharp and grungy vocal arrangement, and some more impressive guitar work.
What’s clear from these recordings is that as Suburban Vermin continues to grow and mature musically, they still keep their raw hardcore edge. Faster and cleaner on “Different Note (2017)”, and crunchier and more complex on “Beat Before The Breakdown”, Suburban Vermin refuses to follow the crowds and still crank out some of the best punk music released in recent years.
The punk-rock mission statement has always been to live fast, die young. Be the party, project your image, enjoy the drugs and get out. Suburban Vermin understand this business plan—only, they’ve written their own business plan and stuck around. At least to finish the “TV HEAD NATION” project. Which they do admirably well, on Issue # 3, by belting out the relentless “Little Miss Suicide (2017)” and “Not Impressed”.
Any punk-rock fans teetering on the brink of whether to grab any of these issues heed these words: GET THEM ALL. This is not even a choice, it is a required action. “TV HEAD NATION” will completely blow you away with sheer emotion and musical ability. If you have never heard Suburban Vermin before, anyone of these Comic / EP issues is a great place to start.