A new record from Indonesian Junk is a cause for celebration. The Milwaukee glam-punk outfit has been serving up sneering and snotty songs since 2014, invoking classic acts like the New York Dolls and Dead Boys shot through with modern sensibilities and hooks aplenty. But what happens when the typically devil-may-care Indonesian Junk releases an album in pandemic times?
One listen to the new Living In A Nightmare—or, hell, one look at the album’s title—tells you all you need to know. “Living in a nightmare! / Living in the USA!” snarls frontman Daniel James on the quasi-title track “Livin’ In The USA.” Backed by an apocalyptic wall of guitar-bass-drums from Johnny Cyanide, Mike Mattner, and Adam Turetzky, it’s a pummeling three-minute slab of punk rock that finds Indonesian Junk gleefully embracing its pissed-off political side. Joining it are the dive-bombing ACAB anthem “Policeman” and the quarantine-nostalgic “I Don’t Mind,” both of which rip into their subjects without sacrificing all-important melodies or blistering guitar solos.
Not that the entire record is doom-and-gloom: there’s still plenty of time for power-pop earworms (opener “Type Of A Girl,” the lovesick “Slow Dancin'”) and winking odes to living on the run (“Tracy”). But Indonesian Junk saves the best for last with the nearly 10-minute closer “Bawlin’ My Eyes Out.” Beginning as a tender acoustic ballad, the song gradually morphs into a lighter-hoisting epic that practically begs to played in front of a thousand ecstatic fans. Everyone chanting along, everyone happy, everyone finally on the other side of this nightmare. Bawlin’ our eyes out, indeed.
Indonesian Junk’s Living In A Nightmare—recorded by Shane Hochstetler at Howl Street Studios and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering—will be released March 19 via Rum Bar Records. Listen to it now, only at Milwaukee Record.
Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.