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The Deli Philly's April Record of the Month: Dark Web - Dark Web

The Deli Philly's April Record of the Month: Dark Web - Dark Web

Self-proclaimed "sewer punks" Dark Web’s debut self-titled EP (now available on cassette via Suicide Bong Tapes) is the perfect remedy for a politically apocalyptic landscape. Their latest slew of anthems is unabashedly aggro (but in a good way), rooted in anxiety, angst, and audaciously messy emotions like paranoia and fear. Thematically grim yet cathartic, Dark Web’s mosh-ready riffs and punk-as-fuck swagger make heartbreak, alien invasion, and atomic bombs palatable.
Starting off with the fast-paced, sci-fi escapism of “Alien Vacation,” Dark Web upcycle a narrative, horror-punk trope by coupling it with searing humor and growling guitar that turn a tentatively terrifying scenario into a catchy dramedy laced with subtle sci-fi B-flick meets surf vibes. “Party’s Over” is a brief but persistent post-rager plea that announces frankly to listeners – fictive stand-ins for party-goers – that “it’s time for you to cruise.” Like Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” but less coy, “Party’s Over” is a tenacious reminder that all things – even the sickest parties – are temporal and meant to end.
Perhaps the most provocative cut on the album, “Toxic America” sums up the current state of the Land of the Free via buzzing chords and hissing cymbals. An inarguably political commentary reminiscent of The Misfits’ “Bullet” and The Spits’ Kill the Kool, the urgency and perceptiveness of “Toxic America” isn’t just subversive; it’s radical. “No Hope” is indulgently gloomy in a satisfying way, a ready-made dirge for nihilists and pessimists alike. Despite its overtly melancholy message, Dark Web’s “Iron Man II,” delves into the tortured psyche of a plausibly jilted lover, whose lamentations highlight the limitations that technology can impose on intimacy and human closeness: “This is not the way that things were supposed to be/and now I am more a man than a machine.”
In “A-Bomb,” an even more cataclysmic form of technological doom is explored, tapping into one of post-modernity’s most primal fears: nuclear annihilation. Whether interpreted as an allusion-laden metaphor or pure camp, the track forces listeners to contemplate the fragility of their mortality or at least humanity’s capacity for destruction, a theme that oozes into the eerie onset of “Pig Blood,” the album’s closer. Part psych, part haunt, the band’s final song makes Charles Manson’s Lie sound like a lullaby.

Slightly sinister, morbid, and relentlessly rock ‘n’ roll, Dark Web’s grime-y ballads will ensnare you at an instant and worm their way into your heart. “Resistance is futile.” You’ve been warned. – Dianca London

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