DROPDEAD • Demos 1991 LP

DROPDEAD • Demos 1991 LP

Armagedon Label

August 2020

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For me Dropdead might be one of the most important 1990s HC bands. I first saw them shortly after the demos were released in 1992 with Taste of Fear and Disrupt at a Unitarian Church in Albany, NY. Bob scared all of us by strutting around, and getting in peoples faces looking like an insane drill instructor or something. They helped to change and shape me forever. Their politics, and love for all things living really hit home with me. On top of that the fast gritty raw noise that they made was always keen to my ears. A perfect match.

If you aren’t familiar with Dropdead they are from Providence, Rhode Island, and have been around for 30 years, or something ridiculous. These demos started it all… “At the Cost of an Animal” is a brutal classic anthem that thousands of punks world wide know and sing along to religiously. It’s sort of their “Breaking the Law”… they play it at every show no mater what.  

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At any rate this LP is a remastered version of the bands two 1991 demos.  Seventeen songs on side 1, and another 8 songs on side 2 (including a cool Infest cover). I’m glad to see this finally come out, I’m really not sure how it hasn’t been booted already after all these years. It’s always been evident to me that the band was really influenced musically by Swedish and Japanese HC …No Security is who first comes to mind when I listen to Dropdead, but there are many other bands that influenced these guys.  (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

 

GRAVE NEW WORLD • The Last Sanctuary LP

GRAVE NEW WORLD –The Last Sanctuary LP 

2020

Bitter Lake Recordings

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This is a very current reissue of a super rare Japanese LP that came out back in 1992. It was pretty impossible to find the original for sure, even when it initially came out. It features the vocalist of Crow and a bunch of other Japanese hardcore alumni that people will go batshit over. 

GNW really made a weird assed record indeed. To me it has more elements of psych and rock than it does maybe punk hardcore.  I even hear some Zepplin in the vox approach toward the end of the record. Blasphemy, I know! When the hardcore parts do kick in they are so fierce and noisy that it makes all of the waiting well worth it. The guitars are buzzing like broken chainsaws. People will tell you there is some Amebix in the bands sound but I don’t hear it.  I def see it in the art and the text used but Amebix sound like Venom… This sounds nothing like Venom.  

Everything this label puts out is gold and sells out immediately. I’m happy to have been pointed in the right direction so that I could finally have this classic Japanese hardcore album on vinyl.  (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD Wilson  Nate : NW   Matt Average: MA

MALE PATTERNS

I first learned of Male Patterns a few years ago when I was assigned their split EP with Scuzz at Razorcake. Had no idea what to expect, and then when I listened to their side of the split I had no idea why they weren’t getting a lot of coverage or rabid fan declaration on the social media platforms. A year or so later I listened to their LP and was even more blown away. They’re definitely worthy of your fandom when it comes to music of the short, fast and loud variety. They crank out abrasive blasts of hardcore punk with a certain heaviness that gives them a sonic edge over many.

They have a split with Executors that has just come out on Shock to the System that you need to check out.

Below is a short interview with Brendan conducted by Matt Average

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Grey Valentine

Who’s who? What other bands were you in in prior to Male Patterns? 

I’m Brendan. I yell into the microphone and I was in Neutron Rats. Mike “Moaky” Moak plays guitar and is still playing in Postage and After the Fall. Dan plays drums and was in Boston’s No Sir I Won’t and Libyans while KC who plays Bass used to play in Cancer from Albany.

Who’s idea was it to start the band? 

Moaky got together with Dan and started playing around. They recruited Jamie, our original bass player, who later moved to Detroit and now plays in Immaculate Conception. Moaky asked if I wanted to sing and I went to his basement and they played the songs that they had written already and I thought they were great. I knew Moaky and Jamie before from shows in the Albany scene and we had worked together at a screen printing company. I had never met Dan before because he had been living in Boston, but he was in a slew of great bands and he and I connected quickly.

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Grey Valentine

What is the name referencing? Anything in particular?

When I asked if they had a name yet, Moak said, “Male Patterns, ‘cause we’re old dudes.” We were all in our late 20’s when the band started in December 2013 and he thought it was funny. I took the name more about being a certain age in punk and the routines of human beings but I think I’m probably stretching it with all of that. No one was thinking too hard about the name. Unfortunately, when we first started, a couple of people here and there have been offended by the name and misinterpreted it as some kind of macho chauvinist thing and we couldn’t be further away from that. We didn’t get that at all. 

Musically, when I listen to you guys I hear bands like Econochrist, and some of the heavier Boston bands of the past. Am I out of my mind thinking this?

Not at all. I’ve never heard us compared to Econochrist but I’ll take that. We definitely take a lot from old school hardcore punk. Negative Approach, some Poison Idea, SSD, but also from bands like Cut the Shit, Born Against, The Zucchini Brothers, and The Chemical Brothers. Especially the last two. 

Yeah, I can hear The Zucchini Brothers in your sound. What albums of theirs do you recommend for the uninitiated? 

Great question. All of them. 

Is there an “Albany sound”? 

I think when people think about Albany they think about its past punk and hardcore scene with bands like Monster X and Devoid of Faith. Nowadays Albany has a very diverse scene of music that’s all over the spectrum. Albany has bands that play hardcore punk, rock n roll, power pop and post punk dark wave type stuff. Today’s Albany sound is a great mix bag.  

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MALE PATTERNS photo by Sarah Winner

What is “Help Ourselves” about?  

Alcohol and drugs are big in the music scene and they’re prevalent in punk too. By no means are we saying that you can’t have some fun but it’s also a serious issue that often gets overlooked because no one wants to stop the party. I’ve been to too many wakes and funerals for friends and I know I’m not alone. Punk is liberating and awesome but it can also be really self destructive. We can’t change anything unless we change ourselves first and too often we’re our own enemies. I go into that more on the new record in the song “Self Abuse”. It’s a song that I think unfortunately too many people will be able to relate to. 

Despite everything being shut down for the moment, are you still working on new songs? If so, how? 

Our guitarist has written some new riffs, he records them with his phone and sends them to us. We’re hoping at some point we can get in the same room again and play em out and put them together. Since we have no idea when we’ll be able to play shows again because of Covid, we’re mainly just trying to do what we can to get the word out on the new record. We’re just trying to do what we can with what we can control. It’s a weird time.

Can you tell us about the new record? When will it be out? Who released it? How much have you progressed sonically since the LP? 

The new record came out August 1st. It’s a split that was put out by Shock to the System Records with our friends Executors from Beachwood, New Jersey. We have three tracks on it, and they have two.  I’d say our new songs are a continuation of the LP. Lyrically we continue to cover more social issues than big politics or things like that. Similar style and straight forward structure. I think my vocals might be a little bit rougher on this recording because I have no idea how to control how I sound.  I’ll go ahead and say that if you liked the LP you’ll love this split. If you hated the LP you’ll love this split even more.

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What’s your favorite movie, and why? 

School of Rock with Jack Black. I can watch that movie anytime. The music in it, the message, it’s good for everyone. 

If they made of Male Patterns movie, what type of movie would it be, and what would it be about? 

The Male Patterns movie would be terrible. No one is reading this right now thinking that our origins would make a good movie. There’s nothing special about how we got together, just how we do the things we do now. No one is a complete mess or falling apart either so that’s not movie material. You know what I mean? I mean, our drummer is his town’s historian. Male Patterns would go great in a movie where we played ourselves in it. Like playing a show then showing up later. Like Cannibal Corpse in Ace Ventura or Billy Idol in The Wedding Singer. We’d be playing somewhere the main character would go and then we’d help the main character get their love or save them from the bad guy somehow. Maybe after the show they go to some diner where we’re eating and right as the bad guy is about to clobber or draw his gun on the main character, our drummer Dan hits him with his snare drum. Why did he bring his snare drum into the diner? That’s for the people at Hollywood to decide but after he’d be like “Check please!” or maybe he’d say “This guy’s paying!” and then the main character could get on and win the day or whatever. It could be an action movie or romantic comedy or drama. We could do whatever. 

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Sarah Winner

What are you doing to stay sane in this moment of time? 

My wife and I just built a pirate bar in our garage that we’re really proud of, so we’ve been spending a lot of nights in there. It’s a tribute to the golden age of piracy.

First thing you plan to do when we’re able to get back out in the world again? 

Set up a release show for this record. Invite people over to my pirate bar for drinks and play more shows. That’s three things. Haha!

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Listen to Male Patterns here.

To get their new EP, as well as LP, and more music from Albany (and elsewhere) go here.

The Nuart: “I see you shiver with anticipation.”

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“I see you shiver with anticipation.” Photo by: Matt Average

The legendary Nuart Theatre switched up their marquee recently with this quote from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, “I see you shiver with anticipation.”

For those who don’t know, The Nuart was one of the first movie theatres to begin showing Rocky Horror on a regular basis back in 1976. I have yet to attend a screening of that movie there, but I do know the line tends to wind around the building, and the crowd is full of hardcore fans. When we are finally able to return to the movie theatres safely I will definitely go and get in line

I’m also missing seeing this beautiful marquee lit up at night, and look forward to the nights when it’s lit up advertising whatever movie is playing on the screen, as well as their Friday midnight programming. Someday…..  (MA)

RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985)

RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985)

Directed By Andrei Konchalovsky

Starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, and Rebecca De Mornay

Streamed this on Prime

Transfer is legit good!

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This is a straight up underrated ripping classic.  If you haven’t seen it, well than you need to watch it tonight! One of my favorite films of all time, I’ve probably seen it almost ten times in my life. It’s the best Cannon Group Film in my opinion. There really is nothing like it for that time period. I found myself having to re-watch it again today because I was talking to Devon, and Matt about it, and Matt has never seen it (or even heard of it for that matter). Don’t worry, we’re  trying to change that.  Jon Voight is terrific in this, every single line that comes out of his mouth is as hard and cold as steel. He’s very believable playing a career criminal who is also a hero to all of the other inmates in the prison that he escapes from.  This is Voight’s role of a lifetime here, he has nailed it completely.  You really don’t like his character as a person, but you find yourself routing for him all through out the movie. A very young Eric Robert also stars in this, and plays Voight’s annoying sidekick.  If you love movies like I do then you probably look at Roberts as a annoying D grade hack actor. Well, for this film he is amazing in it, and they definitely could NOT have chosen a better partner to play the part of Buck.  

The story is awesome, with some violence and brutality that is cringe worthy when you watch it happen. This film is based on a screen play written by Akira Kurosawa.

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The only negative thing I can say about this film is the music straight up sucks. At times it sounds like Seinfield meets Knightrider, but even that can’t destroy the movie. I think it holds up just as good now as it did when I saw it for the first time on VHS in around 1986.  I recall renting it with my buddy/bandmate Kenny Donovan. We were hooked and rented it a few other times before I moved back East.  

Do NOT sleep on this, you’ll be shocked at how fun this film is.  I’d rate This as an 8.  (NW)

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Nate Wilson: NW  Devon Cahill: DC  Matt Average: MA

 

INTER ARMA • Sulfer English 2 x LP

INTER ARMA- Sulfer English 2 x LP

Relapse Records

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I really have appreciated Richmond, Virginia’s INTER ARMA’s earlier releases a lot. I’ve given this double LP a listen more than once and just can’t hang or relate to it, and I’ve really wanted to. In my opinion, they seem to have moved away from the heavy doom, Southern stoner sound and traded it all in for a later NEUROSIS vibe. NEUROSIS have always been innovators of sound, and have not been afraid to pursue new/different sounds. With INTER ARMA this record, to me, doesn’t feel truly authentic in the way their earlier releases do. It is almost forced and copied. For me there isn’t really much interesting or even new with Sulfer English, it just sounds like what Relapse Records would want I.A. to sound like (a NEUROSIS clone). The production is great, the musicianship is terrific, but I feel as though they went from almost finding or having their own sound to clearly taking an influence and just rolling with it at full steam. Sorry guys, you lost me on this one.  (NW)

 

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

 

CAPITLE • Why 1981 – 1986 cassette

CAPITLE • Why 1981-1986 cassette

Cacophone Records

2019

Capitile

This band might not mean to much to anyone from outside of the Albany NY area… but there is so much I can to say about Albany’s first real hardcore band. These dudes formed out of the ashes of The VERGE (the guitarist and drummer). The VERGE were great, but more dark punk rather than a hardcore band. In 1982 the VERGE got back together and that left CAPITILE trying out other players to keep the momentum going.  Both versions of the band are great. 

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The first I knew of these guys was from the graffiti I saw on the corner of Lark Street and Central Ave in Albany. This must have been around 1983. I’d go to Fantaco Comics and Worlds Records with my parents every Saturday, and would see that graffiti on every trip.  Right there, in huge fucking letters on a wall was written CAPITILE. It was scrawled all over Albany in the early 1980s right up until around 1992 when it was finally cleaned up.  Back then, I had no idea what it meant or who the band was (it was 1983 I was still just a young metal kid). I just thought it was a political statement in regards to Albany being you know… the capital (misspelled). It was in either 1984 or ’85 when these guys played Lark fest. Some work friends (Todd Smith) and myself went to see what Larkfest was all about. We saw a few other really crummy bands playing outside on Lark Street. When Capitle played I had no idea what I was seeing, and didn’t fully grasp what they were doing. I, to this day, still can’t recall much because I was drunk and stoned. What I can tell you is that it was outside, and the sound really sucked. They played on the back of a truck bed, or something.  Larkfest later turned into an annual community festival that still happens to this day.  

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Fast forward to maybe 1990 after I’d moved back to Albany from SF, and somehow found the now legendary Erl Records. Immediately, Dave (the owner) and I realized we went to the same high school together and even rode the same bus.  I was the guy sitting in the back of the bus shooting spitballs in Daves afro. At any rate, hanging out at Erl records I became friends with Phil Samuels who was the bassist of Capitile.  We’d hang out at the shop while these guys drank, smoked and talked good music.  Phil told me many stories of those early days of punk in Albany. Unfortunately, Phil (the Surgeon General) passed away a few years ago from lung cancer. He was a super sweet guy and is missed by many of us.

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For those of you that have never heard CAPITILE, I just have to say that I have always heard elements of BLACK FLAG, SUICIDAL, MINOR THREAT, and yup, I even hear some AGNOSTIC FRONT in there. Some of the songs are super short bursts, and that was pretty unheard of in Albany back in those days.  

This tape compiles everything these guys ever did between 1981 to 1986.  Twenty five songs from two demo tapes and some compilations. It’s of my opinion that this tape is all you need to hear by this band. Any reunions or re-recorded songs for records are useless to this old dude. Buy this shit! (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD Wilson  Nate : NW   Matt Average: MA

GAME • No One Wins LP

GAME • No One Wins LP

2019

Beach Impediment Records

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It’s kind of funny… because as soon as I put this slab on my turntable the first thought I had was that of the 1980’s Heavy Metal act, ACID.  I proceeded to turn the record cover over and the first song on side two is called Acid.  Maybe I’m not that crazy after all!

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This is nothing like I expected it to be. I expected some U.S. sounding hardcore punk ala Boston for some reason.  Instead it has a great catchy heavy metal feel to it, and I’m guessing that was not really the intention?  Then again I’m way the fuck out of touch with current hardcore/punk.  If this is what hc is supposed to sound like in 2020…well then sign me up, things have definitely progressed and changed a lot for the better because to me it’s really just melodic fast metal (which I’m 100% okay with).  Yes, metal is normally the lane I prefer.

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This music is pummeling with low end aggression, super melodic riffs and vox that are equally as catchy as the riffage.  The lyrics could also be mistaken for some metal lyrics.  Everything about this record is done with professionalism and beauty.  I really love this and have listened to it three times in a row so far tonight.  My only complaint is that the record feels too short, and left me wanting a lot more.  I guess that is the point though, right?

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Jonah Falco is the guitarist in this band, and for those who don’t know he plays drums in FUCKED UP (this obviously sounds nothing like F’dU).  Ola Herbich from Arms Race and Quality Control HQ plays bass and keeps things rumbling along with the drummer who just loves playing beats on the toms.   Great Metal from the land of great metal… England! (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD Wilson  Nate : NW   Matt Average: MA

BRUTE CORPS (1971)

BRUTE CORPS (1971)

Director: Jerry Jameson

Starring: Alex Rocco, Jennifer Billingsley, Joseph Kaufman, Paul Carr

Viewed: Blue-Ray

Brute Corps cover

The first time I watched Brute Corps was on a DVDr that was burned from a low grade VHS of dubious origin. The print was horrendous. It looked like it was copied from a copy of another copy of another copy and on and on until what was left was barely viewable. Faces were blobs with two black dots for eyes. Voices tended to be the consistent guide, separating one character from the other. Even the nude scene between Kevin and Terry when they’re in the creek was pretty blown out. The only way you knew they were completely nude was because there were no blobs of color on their bodies. The print was so terrible that you could even see cracks in the film negative as the tape via the DVDr rolled on. But I kept with this movie because it is actually pretty good for what it is and an obscurity that should be better known with genre fans. The main characters are fleshed out enough to keep you interested and, at some point, feel sympathy towards.

Fortunately, Code Red released this on Blue Ray, and it looks great. It’s like seeing it for the first time in comparison to that grotty VHS dub to DVDr that I mentioned above. Faces are clear, you can see their features, know who’s who, and enjoy the mean and nasty movie that is coming your way.

Brute Corps starts off with a group of men in military fatigues winding through canyon roads in Southern California on their way to some undisclosed country in Central America. There’s a scene where one urinates out of the back of the truck while it’s in motion and the rest look on is not to be missed because it’s one of those “Did I just see what I think I did?” moments. Indeed, you did. We soon learn these men are a group of mercenaries known as Burkhart’s Bastards, led by the ineffective Colonel (Charles Macaulay). They pass a hitchhiking hippy, Kevin (Joseph Kaufman), who later becomes a central figure in the movie. But first, these Bastards tangle with some bikers, and a short while later stop off at a cantina in a dusty desert town to harass the locals, and prove to all in attendance that they are indeed deserving of the Bastards half of their moniker. It’s here that we are introduced to the sleazy and violent Wicks, played by Alex Rocco (The Godfather, The Entity, Three the Hard Way, Detroit 9000, The Friends of Eddie Coyle,Bonnie’s Kids, and numerous TV shows). He harasses a young barmaid while everyone just looks on. She wriggles out of his grasp, but the stage is set, and you know this guy is one nasty scum bag to not take your eyes off of. He has no moral boundaries whatsoever, just get what he wants and let no one get in his way. Rocco plays him perfectly. A villain you easily despise and will relish in seeing him get his much deserved comeuppance.

That hitchhiker, Kevin, that I previously mentioned just so happens to be headed in the same direction. He’s on the run from the military, and he meets up with Terry (Jennifer Billingsley), the free spirit hippy girl who tells him, “I like to ball, it’s the thing I do very best in life. I should have been a hooker.” Of course they hook up and have sex, and start to develop an emotional relationship rather quickly as they make their way into whatever town across the border their looking to disappear into.

Eventually Terry and Kevin cross paths with Wicks, and go back to the camp with the promise of free food. From here Wicks begins to manipulate the couple for his ends, which is to get Terry. Kevin gets hip to what Wicks is doing but is too high to effectively fight back, and knows he’s outmatched and outnumbered to save Terry from the hell that is coming her way.

Terry’s arrival in the camp exacerbates the division and dysfunction among Burkhart’s Bastards. The distrust among each of them makes you wonder how they made it this far this long. They all want Terry and they will gladly hurt one another for to get her. The ineffective Colonel Burkhart suggests they compete for who gets her, as to them she’s nothing more than a piece of meat. The competitions are pretty goofy for the most part, mostly hand to hand combat, and pad out the running time of the film. One member, Ross (Paul Carr), is sort of the conscious of the group, but for the most part a coward in that he doesn’t act sooner.

Once Wicks gets his hooks into Terry this movie gets nasty and grim. There’s enough tension to keep you engaged, and the performances from Rocco and whoever played Terry are pretty good. Rocco is so vile and sleazy you can’t look away. Terry elicits sympathy as the broken girl. You do wonder how she will go on with life after all the humiliation Wicks put her through.

This movie could be easily written off as a low budget trashy action flick, and it is, but the writers Michael Kars and Abe Polsky (who wrote the must see The Baby (1973)) and director Jerry Jameson (The Bat People, The Six Million Dollar Man, etc.) did pretty well with their resources and delivered much more than anyone could have expected. (MA)

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Nate Wilson: NW  Devon Cahill: DC  Matt Average: MA

COME TO GRIEF 12″ EP

COME TO GRIEF • Pray For The End 12” EP

Grievance Records #4

2020

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I’ve been following everything Terry Savastano has done since I fell deeply in love with his band Disrupt back in the early 90’s. Disrupt played furiously fast hardcore and I was lucky enough to see them at least 4-5 times. His next band Grief played the opposite of fast and they went on to be one of the innovators of East Coast Doom metal. I once saw them open for Man Is The Bastard and I recall their entire set consisted of one Sabbath song that was slowed down to almost nothingness. I was once again hooked to another Terry band. At any rate if you don’t know… Grief broke up in 2001. Terry got the band back together for a few reunions, but in 2014 with the original drummer on board they started playing gigs under the name Come To Grief (yes it’s a Grief LP title). They just started from scratch and did a new band with new records. It’s exactly what you’d expect if you followed Grief.  Slow, droned out harshness that just drops to the depths of someplace where most people don’t want to be. Me… sometimes I like being there. This is the band’s newest release, and features three beasts that just stay in the heavy lane. It’s perfect for the Covid-19 times we are living in. Terry Savastano for President! (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA