In a time when the number of bands on planet Earth rivals the amount of water on planet Earth, it’s rare to find a “band’s band.” You know, a band that other bands respect, regardless of style or genre. Milwaukee’s Volunteer is just such a band, a well-regarded (if still new) hardcore outfit that has given more to the local music scene than taken away. Boasting former members of Traitors, Gasoline Fight, Forstella Ford, and Stock Options—as well as one of the architects of the meticulously awesome MKEPunk.com—the band practically bleeds Milwaukee cred.
“Bleeds” seems appropriate, too, since Volunteer’s music is of the pummeling, bruising, and heavy variety. The band’s second EP, Goner (the followup to a 2013 self-titled debut EP) finds Francisco Ramirez, Martin Defatte, and Mark Sheppard muddying the lines between metal and noise, sludge and industrial. Opener “Nein” scuffs up the punch-press precision of Helmet, while the appropriately titled “Free-er Bird” soars above its own bass-chugging din before tumbling back into it. “Goner” is the EP’s heaviest track, featuring flailing drums, pissed-off vocals, and distorted spoken passages that sound like the final warnings before the apocalypse. Finally, Jawbreaker cover “I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both” comes complete with an endorsement from the band; according to Defatte, Jawbreaker drummer Adam Pfahler gave his stamp of approval thusly: “HEAVY. Dug it!” Before the Goner 10” is released Tuesday, October 14, dig it yourself (and watch the video for “Nein”), only at Milwaukee Record.
Volunteer celebrates the release of Goner Thursday, October 30 at the Cactus Club. Child Bite and Like Like The The The Death will play in support. Volunteer will also play with The Misfits, Juicehead, and Rust Belt Demons Friday, October 17 at Route 20 Outhouse in Sturtevant.