Texan post-punks come clean and let rip on debut album
Texas’ Institute moniker is fitting; an organisation or body created for a certain purpose. Luckily for us that purpose is to write forwarding thinking post-punk. Institute are a band that likes to live up to their titles too. Debut album Catharsis sounds like a mixture of The Fall’s ability to mix post-punk, krautrock and beat poetry, Crass’ energy and Dead Kennedy’s social consciousness, all the while acting as a cleansing period for the band, especially Lead singer Mose Brown.
Recently Brown described the album as “a vehicle to put things out in the open that I haven’t necessarily told anyone. The songs are about my faults, my insecurities, my existence, my relationships, my childhood. I’m thoroughly disappointed in myself.” Despite how Brown feels, the Catharsis is anything but a disappointment. From the opening riff and guttural preaching of Perpetual Ebb, Catharsis doesn’t let up until Christian Right’s exquisite outro. Stand out track Cheerlessness exemplifies this perfectly in four minutes. Frantic guitars and metronome drumming rupture out of the speakers at the tracks outset. Morose lyrics intertwine with surging bass alongside the continued onslaught of guitars and drums. Despite this all sounding like a massive post-punk downer; Cheerlessness leaves you feeling strangely uplifted and invigorated.
While listen to this Texan quartet it’s easy to forget that in previous lives Adam Cahoon, Barry Elkanick, Arak Avakian and Mose Brown plied their trade in such luminary bands Wiccans, Glue, Back to Back and Bad Faith. Catharsis is the sound of musicians who know exactly what they’re doing and how to get their message across. The recording process for the album was cathartic for all involved and after listening to it you feel like your emotions have been purged too and you are a new person. This is a vital album in a sea of torpidly. Who ever said punk was for blockheads needs to hear this and fast!