Self Defense Family - Performative Guilt [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Self Defense Family

Performative Guilt [EP] (2019)

6131 records

Performative Guilt, the new EP from the prolific Self Defense Family, continues where last year’s Have You Considered Punk Music left off, although with an even darker tone. The songs this time are short, only one of the four topping the three-minute mark. But that doesn’t make them any less powerful. Actually, with the heavy nature of the release, the brevity works to its advantage.

“Rest in Peace for the Error Shall Not Be Repeated” finds Patrick Kindlon sounding powerful at the beginning, something that will diminish over the course of the EP. He sings, “Some of the kids from high school don’t make it deep into adulthood,” giving a mission statement to this release. Every track features some variation of the word “death.” Kindlon’s voice always sounds urgent but over the repetitive music, Performative Guilt leaves you feeling grey.

The back half stays just as bleak. The music slowly trudges along and on “Don't Wait to Be Murdered to Defend Yourself,” Kindlon claims, “I’m not a counselor, poet or priest, all I can offer is songs rolling in grief.” Here he’s more self-reflective and self-aware, wishing he could do more, knowing this is what he has to offer.

Performative Guilt is exhausting for only eleven minutes. While a lot remains the same, the somber tone marks a new shift for Self Defense Family.