When Joe Steinhardt started Don Giovanni Records, his goal was to foster a greater sense of awareness of bands from New Brunswick, to get their records heard and distributed. Beyond that, another original goal was to be able to press the first full length by Stormshadow, a short-lived New Brunswick punk band who provide a microcosmic look into much of what's so great about the New Brunswick, NJ punk scene. Coinciding with the first night of Don Giovanni's 10th anniversary showcases on Feb. 9th, the label is finally issuing the album -- previously available exclusively via a limited run of CD-Rs, which they made to sell at their last show. The album's 16 tracks are mostly under 2 minutes each, all tight hardcore punk with scream-along meldodies, dissonant riffs, and lyrics that mix the political with the purposefully personal. The record opens with "Switched On", a quick intro to the record's tendency to make unexpected turns from harsh hardcore screams to melodic pop-punk lines. "Watson Break" recalls the most vital aspects of sing-song anti-authoritarian folk-punk, while "Stainless Stealing & the Wage Gap" is an aggressive and honest discussion of economic injustice that could have soundtracked the Occupy movement marches of fall 2011, asking "Profit over people, what is life's value?", then reminding that "the real war is for the mind" and concluding: "Life shouldn't be so cheap / never ever accept defeat." Like the other tracks presented here, though written over ten years ago, its energy feels just as pressing in 2012. Set On Destroy is angry and anthemic throughout, often feeling like a distillation of what's always so empowering about this breed of explosive protest-punk.
Recorded/mixed by Gibson at Upstart.
Mastered by Max at Clearcut.
Artwork by Matty King.
1. Switched On
2. Forty Ounces & the King of Smoke
3. Watson Brake
4. My Mellow & My Ace
6. Catch You On The Flip
7. Who Watches the Watchmen?
8. Stainless Stealing & the Wage Gap
10. Black Power For Human Liberation
11. War In The Gulf Between Us
12. Ponce de Leon & the Fountain of Slaves
13. It\'s The Passion
14. Summer To Summer
16. Dylan Thomas