New Orleans hardcore punk quartet PEARS are working with Ryan Young of Off With Their Heads to release their debut album, Go to Prison, on vinyl. Scheduled for a September 30th, 2014 release by Young’s Anxious and Angry project, Go to Prison is a collection of nine original songs and one well-done cover that are more than a little impressive for band that has only been in the scene for a very short time. Fast, distorted guitar, busy low-end, tight drumming, and wild vocals that are somehow urgent but don’t take things too seriously mark this band’s sound. Rather than borrowing here and there from other bands’ sounds, PEARS definitely have their own thing going on. And that is most welcome in today’s music.
Recently I caught up with Ryan Young of Off With Their Heads to inquire about his part in releasing PEARS’ Go to Prison on vinyl. When asked how he came across the band and what about them appealed to him enough to take on their release, he said: PEARS opened up for Off With Their Heads last time we toured through New Orleans. They caught my attention with how well they played, how funny they were, and how they had some kind of ability to project some kind of feeling to a crowd that I have rarely felt at a show since I was in high school. I remembered a couple of the guys from their old band (who we had also played with), and let them know how much I loved them. They informed me that it was their first show. I got their guitarist’s phone number and kept in touch. When I started my podcast, I decided to feature a couple songs off their demo on the show. People loved it. When the CD was released, I asked when the vinyl was coming out. They said they didn’t have any money to do it themselves. I have this feeling that if you release a record digitally or just on CD, it is very disposable. I didn’t want that for this record. I told them that if they toured and had plans to actually pursue their band, that I would love to put it out. I don’t care about making money, but I do care about breaking even. That was essentially my deal with them. I will put the costs of everything on my credit card and hope that a combination of the guys working hard and my ability to shout them from the rooftops will be enough for me to not lose. If I do, oh well. I supported a band that I love.
As far as releasing any other records in the future, Young commented: We will see how this goes. I don’t have any plans to release another record. Maybe if something comes along that strikes me like these guys did, I’ll do it again. One thing at a time, though.
Lastly, Young added: These guys (PEARS) are great. One of my favorite things I’ve heard in years. That is why I want people to check them out. I love when this kind of music is done well, and this most certainly is a case of that.
There are a lot of standouts on Go to Prison by PEARS, like most of the record, but there some that are more prominent than the others. From the opener, “You’re Boring,” up to the seventh track, “Terrible,” they tear it up, blending the best of old school hardcore punk with the best of today’s loud, fast and filthy music. “Judy Is a Punk” and “Little Bags” have more of a standard ’80s and ’90s punk sound, especially the former, as it is a Ramones cover. And the album closes with “Grimespree,” the only song to exceed three minutes and land at a whopping four minutes and fifty-seven seconds.
For an idea of what to expect from Go to Prison by PEARS, check out the video accompanying this review. The song, “Breakfast,” is the third track on the record.