No local band is more aptly named or capable of as much debauchery as Stiff Middle Fingers. Whether atop the bar counter of the Replay in a banana hammock or screaming lyrics of liberation through nihilism at passing cop cars and Mass. Street bystanders, vocalist Turdking Travis isn’t discouraged by boundaries. Joined by Hawks and Barry on guitar, “Solamente” Doug on bass, and George on drums, Stiff Middle Fingers is a five-piece anarchist assembly challenging the norms of a rock show with engaging live performances. Based in Lawrence, the band’s Antisocial Studies EP was recorded at Topeka’s Rundown Studios.
The EP’s song titles are sure to foster interest with tracks like the opener, “Pessimasochist,” or “Manifestering.” The EP maintains a carefree identity, particularly on “Later Days, Buddy,” admitting “I can’t take it / so hard to fake it / rather be bakin’ / on my couch naked,” on which the breakneck speed of guitar and vocals does not let up. Antisocial Studies is a fleeting 10 or so minutes perfect for endless spins.
The EP stays true to hard and fast punk with the exception of the final track, “Three Minutes to Midnight,” which tapers back the instrumental intensity just a notch. This track offers a gleam of variety and shows the band’s versatility. Stiff Middle Fingers is some of the finest local punk and a downtown Lawrence frequent flyer.
Recommended If You Like: Titus Andronicus, The People’s Punk Band, The Rackatees
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Pessimasochist), 4 (Douches Wild), 3 (Manifestering)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Harrison Hipp on 04/14/16