OBSOLETE MAN is a new hardcore / powerviolence band from San Francisco, CA, who released their debut EP “A Short History of Decay” in early March, followed by their first official visualizer for the song “Violence” (watch above). Today, we’re giving you a bit more details about both the band and their work, through a track by track rundown and their special commentary below.
Based in San Francisco CA, OBSOLETE MAN is a hardcore band drawing influences from powerviolence, d-beat, grindcore and crust punk. Established in 2019, the band first got its start practicing in the basement of a parking garage in the Tenderloin. OBSOLETE MAN is Devan Bleyle, Gino Colombini, Scott Wright, and Robby Bancroft. The band was started with Devan, Gino, and Scott around a year ago out of the ruins of a prior project and after vetting for a singer for months with a handful of unsuccessful tryouts, they enlisted Robby from Gino’s previous band, Five Characters In Search Of An Exit.
Comments the band: “The new record – ‘A Short History of Decay’ is our debut EP, five songs we set out to make as sonically searing as possible. Every song was a collaborative effort from every member of the band. Special thank you to Charles Toshio, recording engineer at The Panda Studios, who helped us bring our vision to life.”
Ennui: This song was inspired by the daily grind of sitting inside a cubicle behind a computer all day. The slow trudging intro to the album is the last chance to catch your breath before we abruptly cut into chaos and breakneck speed.
Violence: This song was the first song we completed together as a group. The lyrics are mostly about Robby’s battle with a severe sleep apnea diagnosis and the mental and physical effects it causes.
Stoic: This song is probably our most direct tribute to old school California hardcore punk along the lines of the DK’s or Suicidal, but then hybridized with Gino’s technical sensibilities. Part of this song is a big shout out to SF Bay Area Tech Death legends Animosity. Lyric wise, we focused on questioning authority and not waiting our turn to take a stand.
Guilt: This song dives deeper into the mental health battle of overcoming your own inner demons. Like the constant changing shape of mental strength, this song goes through many phases. One of our favorite lines on this record is from this song, “Kindred scism, losing fight, the road to hell is paved with spite.” and is also a nod to another heavy ass band from the Bay.
Defeat: A song semi-recycled from our previous project and the finale of ASHOD. It’s a rigid, unapologetic, almost Ramones-like passage into a cacophony of breakdown, noise, and delay. The lyrics represent the futility of trying to make it in a country that claims it is for everybody, how we are under control of our federal and gubernatorial overlords, and how the life of an artist is mostly condemned to lack of representation and squalor.
OBSOLETE MAN live in Pacifica, CA with DeathGrave, Redacted, and Phobia.
Asked about their current pandemic and its impact on their operations and plans for the future, the band offer the following:
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic and recent Black Lives Matter and police brutality protests, all major plans especially live dates have been postponed until further notice but we are continuing to work on our second EP. Currently we are trying to help spread awareness in our community and promoting BLM organizations.
𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐶𝑜𝑣𝑖𝑑 𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑐 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑑𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑙𝑎𝑖𝑑 𝑤𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝ℎ𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑒.
“While many projects have shifted online successfully, the smaller artists and groups are getting left in the digital dust behind their more resourceful and established counterparts. Building interest around a new band is highly reliant on its live performance so it has definitely been challenging not being able to set up and or attend any shows.
COVID-19 has really brought a lot of what has been happening within the scene to a screeching halt. However, there are a lot of great local bands coming up from the Bay Area like Morning Coffee, Rekt, Heavy Stench, No Right, Hands of God, and Urban Sprawl.”
𝑁𝑜𝑤 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑡 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑠 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑.
Check out our Spotify Playlist called California Noise Pollution, featuring some of the local California bands we support and think you should know about:
In closing, bassist Devan Bleyle wants to make sure you know “we digress from this in the light of all the events leading up to May 25th, 2020; The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the ‘Amy Cooper’ incident in Central Park.
𝑇ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑙𝑦 𝑝𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑑 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑎 𝑓𝑖𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑚𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑙𝑦 𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑖𝑠𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑛𝑖𝑐 𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑠𝑦𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑑𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑈𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝐴𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎.
It is time to recognize and utilize our privileged platform as predominantly white male musicians to tear down these systems that no longer serve the people. A message to all police officers: QUIT YOUR JOB.”