New York City's Crushed announces the April 14th release of second EP Deep User.
In a zone all its own, Crushed puts forth a very noisy, distorted brand of hardcore – teetering right on the line between the primitive metallic sound of late '80s NYHC and the more experimental sounds emanating from Martin Bisi's studio in those same years. Something like Unsane covering Madball, Crushed takes the heavy, thrashy efficiency of the New York hardcore OGs and smothers it in subterranean noise-rock grime.
Listen to new track "Annoying," off Deep User, here:
Fittingly, the man responsible for recording and mixing Deep User is Ben Greenberg, guitarist of Uniform. As fans of Uniform's latest Sacred Bones Records release, Wake in Fright, know, that duo delivers a raw industrial assault, absolutely smothered by a blanket of noise; it could be said, what Uniform is to industrial music, Crushed is to hardcore. Josh Bonati (Pharmakon, Merchandise) handled the mastering.
Another piece of the puzzle: Crushed guitarist Jeff Bobula and drummer Greg Smith are members of the proggy Survival, the Hunter Hunt-Hendrix-led band whose 2013 debut on Thrill Jockey was described by Pitchfork with phrases like "titanium-grade riff" and "punishing in its embrace of zoned-out repetition." Bobula and Smith's background might explain the left-hand turns that occur throughout Deep User – heart-melting hooks, clean vocals, and sound effects blast out of the muck, opening up new dimensions of sound and revealing an artistic vision beyond Crushed's deceptively simple surface.
Lyrically, Deep User is brutal and candid. This is hardcore from an adult's point-of-view – frontman Fred Miketa states, "the entire album is about being a single dad battling with addiction and reflecting on getting older." Miketa says hardcore saved his life as a kid, and now through Crushed it is saving him for the second time. Hardcore might be a young man's game, but Crushed is proof it can be a real and relevant outlet in the hands of grown-ups.
From "Annoying": "Looking back at all the shit I lost / Bounced back but at what cost / I used to feel so safe / But in the end nobody's safe / Come to terms with dying soon / In the end we all will lose / It all used to seem so safe and clear / I miss my youth when shit was clear."
For fans of: Madball, Unsane, Uniform, Nails
Fred Miketa, vocals
Jeff Bobula, guitar
Kevin Emerson, guitar
Chris Kelley, bass
Greg Smith, drums
Deep User EP (2017, self-released)
Losing Shit EP, 2013 (2013, Negative Desire Records)
Photo by James Hartley