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Punk duo Soot return with the pummeling “Quill Pig”

Soot’s second album releases on May 12.

Soot’s second album releases on May 12.

Well, that didn’t take long. After releasing a blistering 11-track debut at the end of last summer, Madison punk duo Soot has returned with a second album, Bad News, Bad Habits. Set for a May 12 release, Bad News, Bad Habits finds band members Liam Casey and Cal Lamore expanding the project’s scope and ambition while continuing to dial up the intensity. “Quill Pig,” the album’s lead-off single, is a wrecking ball of feedback and aggression. “Black boots, black jacket / Cigarette and sunglasses / Bad news, bad habits,” sneers Casey, amplifying the song’s menacing atmosphere by leaning into vitriol.

A warped noise effect serves as the song’s primary sonic bed, allowing the duo to accentuate the track’s near-Lynchian aesthetic. Simultaneously raw, dreamlike, and propulsive, “Quill Pig” ultimately winds up highlighting most of Bad News, Bad Habits’ strongest traits. A whirlwind of energetic ideas pay off with exacting execution across the record, highlighted by the extremely strong back-to-back run of the punchy “Snakes In The Camp? Fuck That.” and the breathtaking, grandiose “Sus Gang.” But “Quill Pig” is a sharper head-turner than either.

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Pointed and playful, “Quill Pig” proves that the members of Soot have been doing anything but stagnating during the COVID pandemic. In addition to expanding Soot’s creative vision, Lamore released a beautiful solo record in A Night Between The Bluffs (as well as releasing the solo demos compilation Flashback Episodes) while Treatment—one of Casey’s projects—released the Weeping House EP in February, earning an inclusion in Tone Madison’s last seasonal roundup. Casey also found time to release a fascinating solo record in James Beaudoin’s Happy Birthday. The two have given us a lot to listen to lately, but the velocity of Bad News, Bad Habits’ conviction makes the new Soot offering a standout.

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