The Washington DC hardcore punk veterans, Rise Defy, are back with a blistering EP that begins and ends in a flurry of rapid beat, tough attitude, and sublime musicality.
The DC-based Rise Defy are an illustrious collective, with members, both currently and in the past from Scream, HR Band, and Police & Thieves, among others, making it easy to spot where the band’s rough and calculated sound comes from; this is a group of experienced musicians whose collective hours between them in the DC punk scene is something that other bands would envy. This release leans more heavily on the punk side of things than on the hardcore part, with melodies that are pronounced and singing that’s rough and tough, but still retains a hint of sweetness, especially in the spoken parts before and between the songs.
Shellshocked starts this little one-two EP with a healthy supplement of colorful punk. This song introduces us to the sound of the group, in particular the gnarly singing, and the killer bass playing. A song that’s endearingly about finding one’s tribe, Shellshocked is exhilarating and the mixing makes this intimate live setting fall perfectly somewhere in the late 60s, with the hairy, hardly contained distortion on the guitar, the percussive, overdriven bass, and the mighty, metallic tinge to the sound of the drums. Long Road Home is like a time capsule to a Sex Pistols fiery night, melodic hardcore punk with a bright edge, while simultaneously sounding like an unreleased Zeppelin jam with a subtle hint of the blues in the multitude of colorful riffs.
A band formed in the pandemic to stand against the rise of neo-fascism in the era of President Trump, Rise Defy have skill and purpose, but here they excel is with their soul. Only 40 copies of these live releases with be printed on vinyl, and I can easily see these prints becoming valuable collectibles among the DC area collectors of local talent memorabilia. These guys seem like they are having a lot of fun, and that’s exactly what they should keep doing.