The world has rarely felt more in need of the punk music’s frothing takedowns of corrupt powers and social injustice. Recognizing this, Social Distance – brought together out of quarantine from their Los Angeles base – serve as a reminder that the anti-social world imposed by the pandemic is the perfect backdrop for anti-social music. Lead singer and bassist LateNite Leah is paired with the distorted guitars of Mike Duran and the machine gun drums of Kris Kotton, as they blend melodic chimes with hardcore grind. Their first single “Outside Your House” – an account of a meth-head stalker armed with a ray gun and paranoia, drops officially on April 25th.
The song bursts open like a blister, as a hot-headed tirade from LateNite Leah rushes across the bone-crushing soundscape that resembles a rollercoaster ride – slow, fast, up, down, boom, crash, and bang. Almost 3 minutes of adrenaline pumped sonic euphoria.
This may be punk, but the track’s professional nature is indicative of the trio’s technical prowess. Expertly mixed, entertaining and flamboyant, this track gets straight to the point without any frivolous bullshit. On the surface, “Outside Your House” may seem fairly simple and straightforward musically. A closer inspection reveals complex layering, a multitude of instrumental effects and an intriguing melody in between the chants.
It sets the stage for a track packed with splitting guitar riffs and banging percussion accompanied by accosting lyricism and soaring vocals. Though the song is aggressive, and racy, it remains very approachable and teasing for the casual listener.
“Outside Your House” is both timely and cautionary in its take on the modern societal scene, fulfilling a necessary release for the times. Social Distance’s music feels as relevant and important as punk music has ever sounded.
They have this twisted rallying camaraderie embedded in their sound which keeps a song like “Outside Your House” totally relatable and listenable. They radiate with an emboldened energy in an era permeated by constant fearmongering.
“I wanna shock you with my ray gun. I wanna shock you right now. I’m outside your house. You know you like it. I’ll stay all night. Oh baby don’t fight it. I’ll shoot you right,” exclaims LateNite Leah, her tones are both sexily playful and deadly threatening, as she concludes her onslaught: “Don’t call the FBI. Don’t call the CIA. Don’t call your mom and dad. Just call me every night.” There is an unbeatable wave of frivolous optimism in these words. Her ambitions are made clear.
The confidence heard in the lyrics is enhanced by the driving music. Social Distance have radio-ready hooks and they have LateNite Leah’s wry, powerful purr-to-a-growl. They have attitude, but they also have sound. Plenty of it. It’s what gives their music guts, and a raw emotional feeling.
“Outside Your House” is a seemingly effortless meshing together of these elements, and Social Distance’s musical aspirations. What results is a powerful punk-rock blueprint for the 21st Century.
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