featured: Pain Chain “Milestones (Singles 2018)”


What’s not to love about a power electronics album that begins with the provocation “Fight Me Proud Boys”?! Right on! Pain Chain is the nom de noise of one Sam Gruca, who hails from my neck of the woods here in Massachusetts… and I think they mean it when they challenge those right-wing morons to a fight. Proud Boys better run. “Milestones” is, as the title makes clear, a compilation of a year’s worth of their singles, now available in one place as a pay-what-you-want download. Sometimes the bedroom no-fi production gets in the way of the music’s impact, but the passion and intent is clear even when the noise is muddy.

The righteous anger of Pain Chain‘s politics are aimed 100% in the right direction. One track, expressing horror at the execution of Aileen Wuornos, makes its case with the blunt title “Jeb Bush’s Execution of a Raped Woman”. Dang. Another, “Frantic Caller”, seems not to exploit its titular speaker’s clear mental illness but to demand empathy for it; muffled electric jitter provides a sonic reflection of the caller’s paranoiac discomfort. “629” is sung, not screamed, and shows a direction not usually taken by power-electronics heads; it’s… a ballad? Good stuff, worth checking out and supporting.