Detroit thrashers SNAFU, which stands for Situation Normal All Fucked Up, have released a record titled Present Day Plague that burns bright with a fiery rage which the group can’t quite contain, though unfortunately for its audience, it fails miserably. While punk rock, which is one of the bands chosen genres, has always been a very listenable style of music, SNAFU’s tunes don’t feel accessible to the average punk fan. Sounding similar to The Casualties with their crunchy and dynamic tracks, SNAFU runs through 19 songs with very little time for the listener to digest exactly what they are listening to, leaving us feeling like Plague is a sloppy and poorly orchestrated record.
The album opens with “Subhuman Scum” a dingy sounding tune that introduces the bands audience to the type of music SNAFU want to write and play-songs that are dark, dangerous, and very much something that makes listeners get a dose of adrenaline with the records intense speed and brutality. Grabbing their fans by the throat, it feels like the band is dragging everyone along, trying to show off their musical talents in a very short time frame, which makes the release crumble before it even begins.
“Body of Suffering” which is Present Day Plague’s eighth song, feels slightly reminiscent of 1980’s punk act Minor Threat, with Ian MacKaye’s screaming vocals, though while Minor Threat blew through tunes with a purpose, SNAFU feels like the exact opposite, as if they are playing just to stir up fury, and not for any sort of cause.
Finally, we listen to “Millions of Useless Eaters” a track that does nothing to close out the album except for a few sound effects and guitar work, leaving us feeling like the group failed to close out Present Day Plague out properly. While SNAFU work hard for their intensity, their music fails in the area of being listenable, which is something that should be worked on with the same smashing attitude the band gives to their preferred time signatures.