33 years after the seminal event of Washington, DC’s Revolution Summer, the echoes of the influential movement still reverberate throughout young bands’ work. Our today’s guests, Philadelphia’s SUNSTROKE, mine imilar sound and approach as bands like DAG NASTY or RITES OF SPRING, and is as near to perfect as a multi-style hearty hardcore record is going to get these days. By harkening back to legendary tones from the 80s with their modern writing and touch, there’s a new hunger in SUNSTROKE’s delivery. We caught up with CoinToss Records and the band to give you an insightful track by track commentary about each and every track from this amazing debut full length, and you can find it below!
SUNSTROKE, from Philadelphia and surrounding areas: is a band that started with an honest intention of friends getting together to write the kind of songs that they wanted and felt motivated to. With a heavy focus on “Revolution Summer” era bands like: Dag Nasty, Embrace, Rain and Rites of Spring, but also a larger range of influence from 80’s Brit-Pop, Shoegaze and Minneapolis greats Hüsker Dü, and The Replacements. While keeping a strong handle on the ethos and social justice elements of Hardcore/Punk, SUNSTROKE looks to offer a sound and content for audiences to resonate with.
“Second Floor/Seven” by SUNSTROKE is out now via CoinToss Records. Grab it HERE and listen to the whole thing below.
Your excuses, they’ve worn thin, a wolf in sheep’s clothing disguised in synonyms. We can see right through a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You can change the language, but you can’t hide the parallels. Not now, not ever! You side step, and try to hide. Made yourself a victim, and preach genocide. We can see right through. Guilty by association, and backed by the aryan nation. We’re out on the hunt, and we will find you.
Richard Spencer, for those who may not know, is the self-proclaimed leader of the alt-right. His alignment with modernized Nazi politics are clear and obvious to most. He looks like any other person you’d come across. The song is less about him directly and more about the threat of this type of individual becoming more and more emboldened in today’s society. On Trumps Inauguration Day, he was punched not once, but twice by two different angry enough people. Shortly after this, the question “Is it ok to punch a Nazi?” was posed around a whole lot. Fuck that, don’t ask, yes it’s ok, and encouraged. I always strive to make my lyrics direct and easily understood. This song is intended to come across and feel like a threat. If you feel threatened by it, you’re a part of the problem.
They said “Go Son, you’re safe here. This is family. Someone you can look up to, Someone you can trust”
Innocence lost, stolen away, innocence lost, He’s left ashamed.
He flinches when someone gets close. His trust is tarnished. His naive mind a victim of the perverse leverage of lust. I can’t decipher his silence, and I can’t cure his pain. He is me, and I is you, and We’ve got a problem.
This song is a true story of a victim. It’s a look into a very real life issue that a lot of young children go through. Most don’t ever speak out, either out of embarrassment, or they don’t realize until later on in life what’s happened. The mental and emotional impact that ensues is complex, and isn’t always an easy one to process. Statistically most of this occurs with someone who is family, which only makes processing it more difficult for a young and developing mind.
Looking through locked windows, and all I need is a door. I’m staring at a sticker that says “Second Floor”. Searching for balance, can’t lose what we had. He might be a father, but he sure ain’t a Dad. Full Surrender. Stuck in a waiting game. We’re victims of judgement from their hollow complaints. Searching for balance, can’t lose what we had. He might be a father, but he sure ain’t a Dad. Coping, Love & Justice, the search for more on the second floor. there’s something more on the second floor.
This is about going through trauma based therapy, and the personal growth that it provides. It’s not always a solution that you need, or will get for that matter, but it’s the process of coping and living with what you’ve gone through. When I went to therapy, I was given a sticker that indicated which floor my session was on. It was a simple name tag type sticker, but the image of that sticker became something that spoke to me in a comforting way, and offered a positive outlook. I encourage anyone battling internally at any point to give personal therapy a chance. Not everyone is the same, but it could be your saving grace.
Surefire agenda scrolled on an empty page. You built platforms and pedestals with a sense of outrage. Vilify, Crucify, Politicize. Acknowledge the problems, yet offer no solution. Keep waiting on a revolution. Just sob stories and pleas. You plead for a handout. Life ain’t so fair, yea it ain’t so fake. Vilify, Crucify, Politicize. Complain
“Complaint Dept.” was the first song we wrote together. We wrote it in my apartment basically figuring out our sound, and what we wanted to do. It’s about a cultural trend that I started seeing. I felt it got pushed over the edge for me when I saw a band that wrote an anti-racist song 25+ years ago play the song live and introduced said song using language that people felt was contradictory to the song. I agree that a discussion and education on how this may come across to someone younger is necessary. The ostracizing and finger pointing that happened shortly after was ridiculous. The issue I have is that all this energy was put into calling someone out for using the wrong terminology when they’re fighting for the same thing you are. If you put an ounce of that energy into the cause, maybe you’ll get somewhere.
The threat of Nostalgia
Looking fondly into the past neglecting the need for progress. You found solace in rhetoric. You bought the snake oil and failed to see the threat of Nostalgia, yearning for what we’re told. Your brick and mortar was bought and sold. Your heart remains in the fabric of the identity of fabrication industry. It’s all an ad to intoxicate our minds with toxic thinking and blind eyes to the threat of Nostalgia, yearning for what we’re told. Your brick and mortar was bought and sold. The threat of our future being based on our past. The threat of delusion beneath a ruling class.
I wrote this as a response to the “MAGA” slogan. I think it’s imperative to understand what the “other side” is finding belief in before deciding to fight against or speak against it. I saw this belief out there that this country could only be as good as it was 50+ years ago. Along with that comes a lot of out of date and oppressive ideals, which through this we’ve seen people who push for this oppression become emboldened and more dangerous. We’ve also seen people have a belief that a dead industry was going to save their lives, because it worked “back then” without understanding the modern world cannot sustain the industry anymore.
Starving for control. Consuming every action. Your fear of losing ground is transparent. The archaic tactics. The excuse is self-defense. Serve/Protect. Asphyxiate, and turn deaf to I can’t breathe. Serve/Protect. I can’t breathe.
I wanted to keep this song simple. It’s about the death of Eric Garner. Procedure 203-11 is the rule in the NYPD handbook that outlawed the chokehold that was used on Eric Garner, and ultimately ended his life over a petty crime. This chokehold had been outlawed for 20 years when this happened. The excessive force used on an unarmed man over selling loose cigarettes is completely unacceptable from a citizens standpoint. This was avoidable, and it was absolutely excessive. The culture and training for officers needs to change. They work for us, not the other way around.
Smothered, held captive inside to keep up the front that I’ve got nothing to hide. Normalizing the numbness over years of avoidance. Delayed confrontation, misread strength and weakness. Delayed confrontation to maintain the deception. My repressed self-awareness, those 6 years and I bear witness. Pressure built up in fear, I’m coming to terms with the reality of tears. Delayed confrontation, misread strength and weakness. Delayed confrontation to maintain the deception. My repressed self-awareness, those 6 years and I bear witness. Those 6 years were deafening, but the silence lost, let the tears flow.
Six Years/Tears is a personal battle of coming to terms with your own emotions as an adult. Finding a release point, or a way to get this out. It was a battle that I went through for quite a while. Almost having to re learn how to cry and feel again. Everything wasn’t fine, and allowing myself to know that and accept it, and allowing it to have an effect on me was essential to changing it for the future.
She’s not a silent smile who knows their place, or a second class being forced to plead her case. Close the gap following years unjust. Be vigilant toward them without an ounce of trust. Close the gap. An age old restraint, an age old anguish. She has a voice and will refuse to be dismissed. I’m not a silent smile who knows my place, or a second class-being forced to plead my case. Close the gap, We must resist.
83 cents is about gender based wage gap. At the time of writing the song women made 83 cents to the dollar of men on average.
I was all out of hope, drank from a glass half empty with my head to the ground. I had faith in nothing. I was cold and loveless until you breathed new life into me. Breathe new life into me. Now the sun shines a little bit brighter, and you cast out the burden that buried me. You’re the light that’s guiding us, and you breathed new life into me.
I had been going through a point in my life where I was emotionally vacant, and reclusive. I met someone who quickly became the friend I needed, and was and still is the greatest friend I’ve ever had. Long story short, I ended up falling in love and becoming a family with this person. This is my perception of that change that happened within me because of the impact of one individual who has empowered me, and boosted my confidence and supported me more than I had ever felt from anyone. You never know when someone is going to revolutionize your world.
Lehigh Viaduct (Heroin Highway)
Follow the tracks, find your destination. You were born here, you’ll die here. Salt your own wounds, abandon your family. You were born here, you’ll die here. Heroin Highway, follow the tracks
Heroin Highway, pre-destined trap.
Open air market, like scenes from a morgue. They’re trapped, we watch. Too hopeless to cry out, too cold to care. They’re trapped, We watch.
Heroin Highway, follow the tracks
Heroin Highway, pre-destined trap
Too Hopeless to cry out
Too Cold to care
I lived in the neighborhood of Kensington in Philadelphia for 7 years. There’s a heroin epidemic that’s existed for decades there. You’ll find used syringes on the street. They sectioned off areas of unofficial decriminalized zones (open air market). In an attempt to focus on violent crime. A lot of kids are born into this world, and quickly become a product of it. This is just the story of what I saw, and how I witnessed it in my own words.