“Men And Their Work”, the recent album from Portland, Oregon based punk band ALL HITS, “explores all forms of capitalism and patriarchal oppression in order to understand and dismantle it in the world, as well as in ourselves as queer white people”. The band’s post-punk infused gritty punk offering comes with bits of nervous rhythms combined with angular riffs and confident vocals made for a dynamic combination. Today, we have teamed up with the band to decompose their rhythm-driven release track by track, give you loads of inspirations, ALL HITS’ top inspirations, special Spotify playlist, and pick up your feet and have you bouncing off the walls after watching their new video for “Intro/Blockhead”. Directed by Kyle Tabb, the visualizer can be seen for the first time right here!
After a head warping intro “Men And Their Work” kicks into eight driving postpunk rockers full of angst, confidence, feminism, melody, grit and a sense of direction not commonly found in a debut album. Shit, most seasoned bands don’t even make albums this coherent. It’s a smart moniker as ALL HITS certainly lives up to the promise. There is a 60/40 split of familiar comfort and provocative mystery inherent in every song. You get shouted sloganeering backed with barbed melody and finessed power-ups massaged into the sweetest spots. We can’t put our finger on exactly what it is that makes this record so special but whatever it is there is a lot of it. Destined to be a modern classic. Destined to be a modern classic. – Iron Lung Records
For fans of Wipers, Raincoats, early Wire and Sleater-Kinney.
Asked about their backgrounds and what led them to create this project, the band revealed that they started the band in Portland, Oregon in 2019. “Izzy had just moved down from Olympia where they had been for about a year after growing up in Portland, Connecticut.” – they say. “Sam is from Baltimore, Maryland and had just moved out to Portland a few months before meeting Janie and asking to play music. Janie was born and raised in the Portland area.”
“We started practicing in early 2019, recorded a demo in March and played our first show in Eugene, Oregon in May. Sam played drums in the bands Post Pink and Crimson Wave back in Baltimore. Izzy also currently plays guitar in Portland band Mope Grooves and Janie drums in Portland band Collate.”
𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑏𝑦 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑘
Intro – (You know how your brain feels when you think about everything all at once??)
Blockhead – The dehumanization of oppressed people by everyone who buys into the culture of white supremacy and colonialism.
Don’t Wanna – Not holding yourself to the standards of your parents and the categories society forces us into based on our biology and upbringing.
Men and Their Work – The inherent violence that is present in consumerism and the work men in power do to erase the past in order to repeat it.
Kickback – Believing survivors and holding the abusive men in our circles accountable.
EasyKiller – How the way the media, as a tool of the state, normalizes oppression and causes complacency as it pushes a white hetronormative narrative and causes guilt, fear, and shame in people who our culture isn’t centered around.
Sugar Supply – How war is a competition that continues for the sake of business.
Class Traitor – How cops, as traitors of their own working class, help enforce the roles we all play in gentrifying the neighborhoods we live in and the communities we move through as outsiders.
World is a Fuck – From the point of view of the opressor, this is about how machismo and the state creates an environment in which people only feel happy and thrive while opressing others.
𝐵𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠, 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑑𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑠 𝑓𝑎𝑟 𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑜𝑒𝑠.
– says the band about the harsh pandemic limitations.
“Being able to participate in the uprising for Black liberation is an important place to focus our creative energy during a time when our minds are less consumed by the constant demands of capitalism.” – they further expound on the political side of things, touching on this year’s widespread Black Lives Matter protests.
“Living as privileged Americans (two of us are living on unemployment benefits and one still working but at limited hours) Covid restrictions have given us energy to spend on our community. Portland is often seen as a “progressive” city, which is a falsehood in a lot of ways. This is a good time to be introspective about how our local community normalizes violence against Black people, indigenous people and all people of color and push ourselves to be better accomplices. Black Lives Matter. ACAB.”
𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑤𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛’𝑡 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤𝑠 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑛𝑜𝑤, 𝑤𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑓𝑢𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑡 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑃𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑.
“We have a ton of great friends here and in other places that we love to play with and honestly just hang out with and the scene was feeling pretty unified and supportive.”
To get you inspired, we asked the band to put together a special Spotify playlist with their top picks of tracks they’ve been inspired by recently.
“Take Em All” by Cock Sparrer
“Summer of ‘81” by The Violators
“Never Surrender” by Chin Chin
“Starry Eyes” (Roky Erickson cover) by Veronica Falls
“What Is There to Smile About” by Close Lobsters
“I Think I’ll Call It Morning” by Gil Scott Heron
“Young Hearts Run Free” by Candi Stanton
“Darken My Door” By Firewalker
“Play in the Sunshine” by Prince
“Viz” by Le Tigre
“Descending Shadows” by the Rats
“Boys Club” by Haircut
“Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” by Marisa Anderson
“Love and Poverty” by Broken Water
“We Ride Skeletal Lightning” by The Blood Brothers
Top 10 Albums That Radicalized and Inspired ALL HITS:
Three from each member and one from the whole band:
Gang of Four – Entertainment:
The repetition of the lyrics along with the repetition and rhythm of the instruments made it so minimal, yet chaotic. The lyrics and delivery inspired parts of our record! And it was the first dancey post-punk record I think any of us heard. Being able to dance and sing along to the chorus with friends made this a new experience for us with punk. It’s definitely the band favorite.
Team Dresch – Personal Best:
Janie: I think this was the first album to give me a radical sense of self. I remember hearing it when I was around 15 or 16 and it was the first time I saw a whole band who not only sang about things I cared about, but also looked like I did. Riot Grrrls were pretty and straight. Dude punk bands were – well – dudes. A lot of punk and hardcore, while it was awesome, didn’t express my queer-kid frustration like Team Dresch did.
Harum-Scarum – The Last Light:
Janie: This is another queer and femme centric punk band from Portland from when I was younger and, like Team Dresch, they were both personal and political, but Harum-Scarum was more aggressive and hardcore-leaning and great for me as I delved into more underground Portland punk.
Wipers – Is This Real?:
I got this burnt for me on a CD when I was a teenager and my friend who burnt it somehow managed to put it in alphabetical order instead of the original album order, making the song “Alien Boy” first. That song, and a documentary named after it, have come up in my mind a lot recently because murder of James Chasse, a local punk kid the song was writen about. Chasse was murdered in 2006 by Portland Police and, while I was a little too young for that to totally be on my radar then, there was a documentary released in 2013 that I may not have even watched if the film itself wasn’t called Alien Boy, a Wipers reference. James Chasse was a white man who was schizophrenic and he lived near and was walking through a part of town called the Pearl District when he was beaten to death by PPD officiers. This part of Portland was being heavily gentrified in the later 1990s and early 2000s and the police were enforcers of this gentrification. In the early 2000s my mom, who is also schizophrenic and white, was living in the Pearl in a subsidized high-rise apartment building that was at the time the last one at that end of downtown and had a beautiful view of the river. I lived with my mom only sometimes because of her mental health and drug use, but thinking of the death of James Chasse at the hands of the police I have no doubt my mom could have been killed by police during one of the many times she went off her meds, Just like Chasse was. No matter how much I don’t like my mom or how many petty crimes I know she’s committed, I know she wouldn’t deserve that and neither did James Chasse, Portland’s Alien Boy. We need better responses to mental health issues that aren’t cops, we need safe and solid housing for people that isn’t in constant flux because of gentrification, and the police officers who committed the murder should have been (but were not) arrested. Not only was Is This Real? a life changing album for me, but it helping to bring my attention to the James Chasse murder was a life changing learning experience. Catch me over caffeinated, driving around Portland, and jamming this record in my car any day of the year, hating cops all the way.
Solange – A Seat At The Table:
Sam: I’ve been playing this record a lot lately. It was my favorite record of 2016. Everytime I listened to it, I heard more details I didn’t notice before, looked up the lyrics, listened to the words in each interlude, and read about the process of her creating this brilliant and beautiful work of art. She put so much time into every single tiny detail of each song. Her live shows are absolutely incredible too. The first song, Rise, was written about the police killings in Ferguson and Baltimore. I was living and teaching elementary school in Baltimore during the uprising after the death of Freddie Gray. The media played a huge role in diminishing the movement and vilifying the residents of Baltimore. Most people do not know that students had their biggest and most important public transportation stop shut down. Instead of getting home, they were met with police in full riot gear. Protesters marching by Camden Yards were met with spectators antagonizing them, yelling racial slurs and being extraordinarily disrespectful. Schools ended up being shut down for a day and a curfew was enforced throughout the city. When we got back to school, I asked my students if we should write letters to the mayor. They told me they didn’t think she’d even read them, so we took time to talk and listen to each other and decorated our classroom with posters about what we love and want to see change in our city. I spent the following school year with this playing on my phone in class and in the CD player in my car – while also thinking about what I could do in my role as a teacher and a white resident of Baltimore city to help dismantle white supremacy, and push for my students to feel safe, confident, proud, and loved while in my classroom. Listening to the record lately has brought me back to that place, and the feelings that come with playing a part in a broken system – while trying to do everything I can to fight back, speak up, and stay present. (I know this is long, I’m sorry.)
Grass Widow – Past Time:
Sam: I listened to this a ton when I was first starting playing drums. The way the vocals and instruments are layered and doing so many different things at once, while fitting together so perfectly is amazing. So chaotic yet harmonious. And the record’s only a little over 25 minutes long. It’s perfect.
Bad Brains – Bad Brains:
Sam: This was my introduction to hardcore, and not from a band made up of a bunch of macho cis-white men. My favorite breakdowns. I love laying in bed and watching the live video of them playing at CBGB’s. Just wish I had been born a bit earlier, so I could have seen that energy in real life. This was my introduction to reggae too.
Yoko Ono – Feeling the Space
Izzy: This record taught me about autonomy, self love and fighting for liberation by any means necessary!
The Raincoats- S/T
Izzy: I found this record after I had been playing guitar for a while and was just starting to write my own songs. It totally changed the way I viewed song writing. There’s a great feeling of friendship which I hadn’t really heard before in a record. The lyrics,spanning from depression to being hopelessly in love, are almost magical to me in a way.
Nina Simone- To Love Somebody
Izzy: This record is important to me on multiple levels. Not only is it my favorite Nina record but she covers Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen who are two of my favorite song writers. Nina has taught me so much about attitude and delivery. She is so important to the history of music but also the world.