Visibly Choked - Visibly Choked [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Visibly Choked

Visibly Choked [EP] (2021)


It is impossible to even begin to put Montreal punks Visibly Choked into a box. They are constantly experimenting with new arrangements and fusing elements from sub-genres such as hardcore, no-wave, and post-punk together to create a sound that is fresh, powerful and unquestionably their own.

From the first listen it is crystal clear that Visibly Choked were born to play together. The five-piece band brings an all encompassing raw energy to every single song that will blow you across the room. On “Third Time’s The Charm” the band prove that they are masters of controlled chaos. For the entire one minute and thirty-two second runtime, it sounds like the wheels are about to come off. Frenetic drumming kicks off the song before being joined by loud, fast guitars that are dissonant yet strangely melodic and distant, frantic vocals. Complex, nimble guitar-work takes over the song, whipping the speed and energy into a frenzy that commands so much urgency it causes the last few lines to be delivered with such immediacy the vocalist sounds almost out of breath. This whirlwind of sound and blend of early hardcore with Visibly Choked’s own unique style is also present on “Uneven Keel”. The band mirrors the emotion present in the lyrics perfectly, embodying feelings of panic and insecurity that come with broken trust with relentless drumming, a driving bassline, jangly unstoppable guitars, and a fierce, manic vocal delivery. The band then transitions seamlessly into the slower, post-punk inspired “A Snake Called Ean”. The strong bassline and melodic guitars remain steady throughout the song before slowing down to a sludgy crawl at the end. The lyrics are delivered with an almost monotone despondency at the beginning of the song that morphs into pure rage along with the drums near the middle and then succumbs to exhaustion at the end.

The attention to detail that Visibly Choked pour into each and every song, especially the care they put into crafting their lyrics is evident from the very beginning. The opening song “Mother Tongue” is a letter to a deceased relative who, under the pressure to assimilate into the culture of their adopted land, brings about the loss of their language and culture much to the detriment of their descendants. The lyrics are thought-provoking and imbued with a keen sense of loss. They are delivered in a measured spoken word style that carries an underlying feeling of deep sadness and a hint of anger. The instrumentation is energetic, driving, and post-punk influenced that fits well leading you to focus more on the lyrics. Visibly Choked also tackle the anger and frustration that comes with the dissolution of a shitty relationship on “Too High”, the emotional complexities of life and love on “A Snake Called Ean”, and dealing with trolls in a cathartic, hardcore ripper that is “Shitlord”.

On their self-titled EP, Visibly Choked are distilling punk down to its very essence and making unique music that will remove you from your comfort zone and truly make you think. They are full of chaotic energy that make you want to join in and there are few things more cathartic than yelling along with the line “Shitlord, I have better things to do than to put up with you”. There is immense talent here and there is no doubt the band have found their sound. Visibly Choked will continue to experiment and I can’t wait to see what they do next.