Detroit is a hellhole. There’s entire streets where they just shut the power grid off because fucking no one lives there. In 2009, when a reporter asked mayoral candidate Stanley Christmas why the murder rate had recently dropped 14%, he answered “There just isn’t anyone left to kill.” This is of course a fertile breeding ground for angry punk rock. Summer Dies, a 13 song offering by Aggro or Die, illustrates this nicely.
AOD describes themselves as ‘Detroit Hardcore Nerd Rage Wood Pushing Concrete Surfing Radd Reggae Thrash Punx’. That’s a lot of words. With songs a bit longer than what I generally expect in thrashier bands, I didn’t find myself losing interest in the middle… the songs seem to ebb and flow effortlessly and maintain dynamic throughout. I hear DRI meets Agent Orange (check guitars in Punch Out!) meets glimpses of The Suicide Machines, with some Citizen Fish thrown in for good measure. That’s a pretty potent combination, and one the world needs more of.
With a majority of songs about skating, video games and of course Detroit living in extremely desperate times, AOD has produced a fine document with Summer Dies, one that’s well worth the money spent to check it out. And who knows, you might just save Detroit’s economy by buying it.
– Brian Lawrence