Hearing Aide: Comrade Nixon ‘Wine and Circuses’

“Alright you bunch of fuckin’ hippies, here we go,” growls Andrew Wilson (guitarist/vocalist) of Plattsburgh punk group Comrade Nixon. His feisty remark is embedded in the track “Rex Ingram,” included on their first full length album, Wine and Circuses. Released through Rat Pâté Records, the album was recorded at Don Fury Studio in Troy, NY.

Wilson’s lazy muffled vocals might call to mind Joey’s impression of Chandler in this Friends clip. Collaborating with drummer Antwon Levee, the duo have put together a high strung album with blurred vocals entangled in scribbly guitar and crashing drums. They combine high speed instrumentation that makes you want to weaponize a floor lamp and repeatedly ram it through a wall screaming “eat shit!” as Wilson does midway through “Micromégas.”

The band recalls elements of Nirvana’s 1992 album Incesticide with Kurt Kobain offering his own disheveled vocals especially on “Beeswax” and “Mexican Seafood.” Several of the tracks on Wine and Circuses take off with suspenseful lead-ins that keep the listener engaged and waiting to hear where the song will go. Ultimately, the songs level out with a monotony that doesn’t set the album apart from other punk offerings. As with any punk, they’re a genre meant to be seen live. Luckily, Comrade Nixon will embark on their first northeast tour this Spring in support of the album, cassette tapes in tow. For now download it digitally here.

Key tracks: Constant Scrape, Micromégas, Rex Ingram