Hey! Listen to Not Your Friends!

Short bursts of off-kilter aggression have yet to go out of style for me. As much as I’ve gravitated toward longer and more complex music, I still periodically revisit my high school affinity for the ’00s mathgrind and noisecore scene. I was addicted to bands like An Albatross, iwrestledabearonce, and See You Next Tuesday and the way they blended straightforward, hard-hitting aggression with constantly shifting ideas. Plus the brevity of releases like We Are the Lazer Viking made it wicked easy to play them on repeat.

The first few seconds of Constructing a Mental Breakdown brought on waves of nostalgia. At just under 10 minutes, Not Your Friends blaze through a series of mathgrind and noisecore bangers interwoven with a garden variety of odd ideas. It’s a blistering, constantly engaging release completed by some truly biting lyrics. This is especially true on “Sebastian No,” which sounds like a no-wave band like Palberta or Ut pairing their foray into grindcore with some blunt, vulgar lyrics:

What a decent man
He got a degree
In being narcissistic
It’s a PhD
He has a big old house
That his daddy gave to him
With some misogynistic tendencies thrown in
He’s mommy’s little angel ’cause he lies right to her face
He’ll regret everything when I put him in his place

Show up at my house again, I fucking dare you
Message me again, swear to god I’ll expose you
I’ll rip out all your teeth and sell them as jewelry on Etsy
Your blood will be my chaser when I chug a fifth of whiskey
I’ll put lye on a toothbrush and I’ll shove it up your dickhole
I’ll store your balls in vinegar because I love pickles
Stalking me is child’s play, been through the fucking wringer
I’ll chop you up and fry you with some onions, motherfucker

Many of the lyrics aren’t as coherent as they are on “Sebastian No,” but the music is consistently crushing. Opener “Abort” sounds like vintage IWABO and Pig Destroyer played by young musicians with a fresh perspective. The band closes the 1-minute scorcher with a quick jazz-funk guitar break followed by throttling blast beats. After an airy, melodic interlude on “Dermis,” the band throws it back to some classic ’80s punk on “Sweet Serenity” with some post-hardcore vibes thrown into the mix.

It seems unnecessary to go track-by-track on such a short release, especially since you should really spin the EP as soon as possible. The band pack an impressive amount of variety and depth into 10 tracks that run the length of your average doom metal song. If you’re looking for a fast, heavy, and weird release delivered with a sense of humor, then this is 10 minutes you’ll want to put on repeat.

Constructing a Mental Breakdown is available now via Bandcamp. All proceeds benefit Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

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"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better - pushing right back." - Albert Camus