Through mutual admiration of each other’s bands, a group of Minnesotan punk rockers began jamming together in Minneapolis, forming Scrunchies just over four years ago. As a local supergroup – with Laura Larson playing for Kitten Forever and Baby Guts before that, Danielle Cusack playing for Bruise Violet and previously Tony Peachka, and their stint in Buzzcocks cover band, Buzzcunts – Scrunchies released their debut LP Stunner in 2018; a DIY stunner that captured the spirit of 90’s riot grrrl. Joined by Condominium’s Matt Castore (as bassist and engineer – having previously recorded Scrunchies debut), the trio’s sophomore effort Feral Coast, is arguably more punk-as-fuck; ripping out riffs with cathartic rage!
Opening with ‘The Houseplant’, Castore’s bass groove can barely contain the punk rock energy Scrunchies are about to release, leading to Larson and Cusack’s propulsive rhythm and screaming lyrical angst. ‘Torrini Decorating’ follows with an equally obliterating punk sound, and Scrunchies are only just getting started! ‘No Home Planet’, another whiplash-inducing ripper, tears apart the fabric of the universe with crushing riffs from Larson (“It’s not the end of the world…”) before Cusack’s punishing percussion on ‘Sway’ has this reviewer gathering his friends together for an impromptu moshpit.
Maintaining their intensity, the infectious bassline of ‘New What’ is followed by the fuzz-drenched hooks of ‘Wildlife’; the trio crescendoing into a cataclysm of feedback near the halfway mark. ‘Black Egg’ will offer listeners no respite before the thrashing ‘Absolute Maximum’ shreds sludge with lo-fi, early Seattle grunge-esque riffs, surrealistic stream of consciousness lyrics, and authentic riot grrrl brattiness. “Don’t take offence I’m trying, but I’m barely alive / You wanna stick your hand in, well it’s mine, mine, mine!”
Inspired by the noise rock of Shellac and Sonic Youth, ‘Parallel’ disturbs with jarring harmonies – and a Kim Gordon-esque deadpan vocal delivery in the bridge – layered over scuzzy post-hardcore guitar hooks. And quickly catch your breath during ‘Ditch’ because you will find yourself shouting along with the loud/soft dynamic of ‘Feral Coast’! Encouraging women and queers to embrace the same DIY ethos that empowers Scrunchies, Feral Coast is a raw, spontaneous record that is comfortable with perfect imperfection; delivering chaotically crafted punk ragers that inspire.