Armed to the teeth like a fully combined Voltron of Philly’s well respected post punk underground, featuring members of stoner psych outfit Ecstatic Vision, spacey new wavers Powder Room, shoegaze-y grungers Creepoid and dearly departed ultra-catchy, supremely 90’s alterna-sludge gods Fight Amp, the recently established Plaque Marks attacks in a gloriously abrasive and grinding crust punk uproar, both somewhat unexpected and wholly appreciated. Their soon to be released debut EP “Anxiety Driven Nervous Worship” a perfect moniker for the noise manifesto they’ve created, all perfectly delivered nail biting, edge-of-the-seat sonic unease, a raving lunatic’s nervous breakdown on wax.
The roster’s pedigree in daresay, “poppier” acts does shine through though, with the driving riff of the band’s self-titled opening track and the bouncing thump and bump of its follow up “Oregon Chem Trail” (fucking amazing song title, “Piecemaker” is another winner) standing out as particular ear worms. Of course those riffs sound like an old screen door, agonized into existence by the most brutal and spare drumming this side of an early black metal album. Elsewhere, “Urban Blighters” has the sinister hook of a Ramones record put in the microwave. It’s refreshing when bare bones production (not bad production though) matches the Neanderthal nihilism and blue faced righteous anger of a heavy record and “Anxiety Driven Nervous Worship” takes this concept and rams it down your stupid throat to remarkable effect. Plaque Marks’ relentless, noise metal kitchen sink approach is a sandpaper q-tip of arch catharsis.