Super Black Market
They say Los Angeles changes people, that it makes them soft. If that’s true, someone should tell Hollywood expats Super Black Market to get their punk asses back home to Warrensburg immediately. Will Sell Anything, the band’s 2007 debut full-length, was 34 minutes of raw, unadulterated nut bust, made all the more appealing by the fact that something so nuclear could emanate from a small town in Missouri. Judging by the threesome’s latest EP, Pray for War, California hasn’t ruined SBM, though it has made an impression. The six tracks on War are infinitely more polished and arguably more pop-punk than anything on Anything, with big, AFI-like crowd choruses (“Jamie”) and even a seven-minute song (“Right Now”) that’s straight out of the recent Green Day playbook. What saves it — or frankly, what turns it into one seriously solid EP — are the band’s irrepressible energy and dead-honest songwriting, which refuse to be diluted by a little overproduction. We drank everything we could/We fucked everything that moved/And we lived faster and faster and faster than we should, growls singer Sonny Remlinger on “I Won’t Forget You.” Now that’s staying true to your roots.