REVIEW: Perennial – “In The Midnight Hour”

Perennial is an interesting band to me. I don’t have any particular nostalgia for all the bands they get compared to. I never listened to that post-hardcore dance punk stuff. It was a scene that missed me. I know bits and pieces. This band was fresh to my ears. I’m happy about that because I don’t have to fuck around with scene baggage or name drops.

In The Midnight Hour has been on heavy rotation since mid-January. It’s a record I have to be careful with though. I’m not getting anything done until it’s done playing. In The Midnight Hour isn’t there to sit and listen to passively. It’s not a record to throw on in the background. It’s meant to make you move. Perennial hit me in a way that most punk hasn’t in years. These songs would kill in a live setting, but you might wreck you living room too. It’s angular post-hardcore. It’s sound collage. It’s jazz. It’s pop. It’s art.

To that point, Perennial is a band that has their art and image on point. The album cover borrows from classic jazz. The experimental nature of the music is right out of post-bop and avant-garde jazz. It’s all there in the mixing of sound and texture. The band isn’t afraid to let things go for a measure to long. They’re all in on throwing some oddball shit into the mix. The band throws a million things at the wall to see what sticks, and most things do. It’s engaging as hell. Even the record cover reminds me of those classic Blue Note Records covers. I’m a little out of my element trying to talk jazz. I can’t do it with any confidence, so let’s move on.

Perennial are a breath of fresh air in a world where the musical landscape is a bit bleak. The streaming era has killed a lot of the spontaneity in music. Things are being made to fit the algorithm. Genre blending has become common, but it’s always done in the most basic way. We need more bands that aren’t content to paint by number. We need to celebrate bands who push into new and interesting territory.

Does this mean I want more literary art punks borrowing from Ornette Coleman? Yes. Absolutely.

Perennial
Bandcamp

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