Album art for The Ire's demo tape

The Ire Releases Debut Tape

I’ve been saying for the past couple days that 2019 is going to be the year that I dive deep into post-punk. With the release of Blu Anxxiety‘s debut 7″, the new Fatamorgana, and an obsessive ear for Belgrado lately, it’s really beginning to look that way. The Ire is just another nail in my post-punk coffin. The new Philadelphia band released their demo on physical format over the weekend, having openers Alien Birth and fellow post-punkers Deep Tissue. Luckily, it’s been online – and constant rotation – since early January.

I’m no expert on post-punk. I like the early stuff: The Cure, Joy Division, Gang of Four. I listen to The Guests when I can. Alright, maybe 2019 being my year in post-punk has been a long time coming. When I listen to The Ire, though, it makes me want to jump into the old stuff and know more.

Everything about this band is sonically pleasing. No moments leave me bored. Every nook and cranny is filled with something. The clang of the guitar. The snap of the snare. The way the bass does its own thing. The desperation in the lead singer’s voice. It’s the sound of the industrial environment. I feel like I’m working in a colorless world when I listen to them. It’s an addicting, hue-less environment, like the cold of Russia after a long day of working in a factory. The sound of Kafka.

I find myself stiffly dancing in my room a lot these days. Arms straight, loose legs, bobbing back and forth. I stare at the wall, wide-and-dead-eyed. After a long day of anxiety and depression and fear of tomorrow, I hear The Ire holler in the distance:

The tide rises, as I expected.
Right on time and right over my head.
Down in the dark, left to my own devices
I’m swept along in the undertow.

Maybe I’ve just been going through a lot lately, but this band is everything I’ve needed. Some days I can’t help but feel like someone is behind me. Other days I swear I catch glimpses of shadows moving out of the corner of my eye. The feelings get stronger every week. Sometimes it’s such a dread that my heart races. I have to tell myself that I’m paranoid; I try to tell myself to not give in by looking. But I can’t not look. I won’t relax until I turn around or close the door so there isn’t a crack of shadow. It’s beginning to become a serious problem.

When I heard Torch Song for the first time, it somehow brought power to these paranoid attacks. That part where she sings in sudden breathes as if it needs to get out, or else it never will:

I am the antichrist; A bittersweet messiah!
I conjure truth within the flames and
I’m a coming after ya

Every time I hear that, it validates my fears in the way no therapist ever could. Something about them is surely therapeutic.

If 2019 is your year to dive deep into post-punk too, give them a listen. They’ll also be performing at this years Damaged City Fest in DC, if you’re looking for a proper therapy session.


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