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Alternative & Indie - Released June 29, 2018 | Run For Cover Records, LLC


Alternative & Indie - Released April 25, 2018 | Run For Cover Records, LLC

Self Defense Family have made a career -- or at very least a successful ongoing art project -- out of questioning the accepted notions of what punk rock is supposed to be. They play smart, challenging, thought-provoking music without buying into the fast/loud template that generally signifies punk in the ears of most listeners. So when they titled their 2018 album Have You Considered Punk Music, it plays like a statement that could mean any number of things. Are they addressing their fans? Is it meant to be self-reflexive? Is it some sort of joke, playing on their own status as a band at once inside and outside the punk community? Is it a curious non-sequitur? It's probably fitting that ultimately, Self Defense Family leader and lyricist Patrick Kindlon doesn't reveal the purpose behind the title in these ten songs, at least not in any clear manner. But he does deliver a series of intelligent, literate sketches of people caught in particular moments of their lives, some harrowing (a picture of a life on the edge of collapse in "Nobody Who Matters Cares"), some touching (random thoughts on various forms of relationships in "The Supremacy of Pure Artistic Feeling"), and some subtly witty (the litany of pop culture references that comprises "Have You Considered Anything Else"). Kindlon delivers his recitations in a voice that rises from a mumble to the level of an intimate conversation, and the spare, artful musical backdrops, evocative even when they stray from the melodic, match the often-uncertain mood of the lyrics. Ultimately, Have You Considered Punk Music barely falls into the broad category of rock music as a style, let alone punk, but it feels like that's the point. Once again, Self Defense Family have created a work that reveals itself entirely on its own terms, and though Have You Considered Punk Music is often evasive, it still manages to draw in the listener, and it's an experience that's well worth your time. ~ Mark Deming

Alternative & Indie - Released May 23, 2018 | Run For Cover Records, LLC


Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2018 | Run For Cover Records, LLC


Alternative & Indie - Released December 13, 2018 | Run For Cover Records, LLC


Rock - Released October 14, 2016 | Bad Paintings


Rock - Released February 15, 2016 | Bad Paintings


Alternative & Indie - Released June 30, 2015 | Deathwish Inc

D. Boon of the Minutemen once famously said, "Punk is whatever we made it to be," and Self Defense Family are one band who appear to have taken Boon's words to heart. The group's second album as Self Defense Family (after the collective recorded three LPs and a stack of singles and EPs as End of a Year), 2015's Heaven Is Earth, is certainly punk rock in spirit, though this band clearly has no interest in the standard template of four/four stomp and a hail of downstroked guitar. On Heaven Is Earth, Self Defense Family build a chain-link fence of sound, with decisive bass and drum patterns woven through guitar figures strummed or pummeled into minimal melodic structures as vocalist and first-among-equals Patrick Kindlon rants and bellows over it all. If it's not what most folks would think of as punk, it sounds smart, defiant, and full of rabble-rousing spirit, which is a lot truer to the spirit of punk than having a Mohawk in the long run. Numbers like "In My Defens Self Me Defend" (in which some cranky guy spews out a long list of things vital to others that are of no concern to him) and "Ditko" (which ponders the notion of property and trust) play out more like performance pieces than actual songs, but they're good performance pieces, clever and intellectually challenging, and when Self Defense Family do tackle something more like a tune, they connect strongly on "Everybody Wants a Prize for Feeling" and "Prison Ring," where Kindlon's declamatory style actually works to the advantage of the music. Maybe you can't pogo or mosh to it, but Heaven Is Earth is the kind of music that will please those with a taste for aural experimentation and annoy the narrow-minded, and that is punk rock in all the best ways. ~ Mark Deming

Alternative & Indie - Released April 17, 2015 | Deathwish Inc


Alternative & Indie - Released March 10, 2015 | Deathwish Inc


Alternative & Indie - Released October 14, 2014 | Deathwish Inc


Alternative & Indie - Released November 29, 2013 | Deathwish Inc


Alternative & Indie - Released June 30, 2017 | Iron Pier Incorporated


Alternative & Indie - Released August 23, 2011 | Deathwish Inc


Alternative & Indie - Released July 28, 2017 | Triple B Records


Alternative & Indie - Released February 19, 2016 | Run For Cover Records, LLC


Rock - Released April 21, 2017 | Deathwish Inc


Alternative & Indie - Released May 22, 2012 | Deathwish Inc