Rent Strike - Burn it All! [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Rent Strike

Burn it All! [EP] (2020)


Lansing, MI based folk punk powerhouse Rent Strike are back with an all new EP, which follows their killer release IX, a rock opera of sorts, that took the DIY Folk Punk scene by force, and left listeners patiently awaiting what would come next. After a little over two years, we finally get the chance to hear exactly what is next.

The short three song EP leaves little to be desired. Starting with a catchy rockabilly-esque tune, complete with a killer base line, and an accompanying horn section, “Ether Rag” lets the listener know that they didn’t come to fool around. The recognizable gonzo-like vocals blast out over the riffs in a beautifully familiar way, leading the EP with just a fun start.

“They Live!” slows it down a bit, with an opening blues style guitar riff, with simple drummng supporting it, until once again the vocals bring back the feelings that bled through their seminal release. The song emotes feelings of loneliness, depression, and a bit of anxiety, and that’s without really digging into the actual lyrics. The music alone on this track was enough to force me into the best bad mood I’ve ever been in, and then it goes from slow and depressing, to fast and angry (obviously, taking my mood with it). After digging a bit deeper, the lyrics blend the music and the feelings I was experiencing perfectly, speaking of living in squats, buying a bottle, the powers that be, and living in a coma while staring at a tiny little screen. “They live and we are asleep” sums the track up perfectly.

The title track brings the EP to the finish line, starting in a much more calm manner than either of the last two tunes. It’s clear they had a voice that needed to be heard with this track, relying much more heavily on the vocals, supported by backing singers harmonies. The singer belts out “Burn it All!” while describing everything that should be burnt down, in an almost symphonic and escalating manner, building tension with every stroke of the guitar and every word that left their voices. This will easily be a sing-along in their future live shows.

If there is one thing that the Covid-19 quarantine has done, its that it has forced musicians to find alternative ways of entertaining us, as live shows are practically non-existent. Between the constant flow of live streams and new music which seems to drop near daily. That said, I always have trouble with EP’s that are as short as this. I loved all three songs, but its hard for me to be as excited about three songs, as I’m left wondering why in two years we’re only getting a small pittance, and are left waiting again, with little to hold us over until the next feeding. I am not complaining about getting this release, only that I wish there had been more.