Habitats are nature’s most prominent proof that every being that walks this earth is a creature of habit. You know what kind of animal to expect based on the conditions and environment you’re in, and I’m here to remind you that people (especially punks) are no different. For example, let’s say there’s an unfinished basement somewhere in Charlotte, North Carolina that is lit by a single bulb on its last legs; a bulb that is only loosely screwed into a light fixture and has been without a cover longer than it ever had one. Its sole purpose is seemingly to shine light on a rug that’s moved from the living room to this cold slab of concrete and is now permanently stained by cheap beer and sweat. This is where you can expect to find Dollar Signs.
The modern-punk soundscape is different than it was twenty years ago. Acts like Jeff Rosenstock and PUP have been clawing their way through the industry with guitars that shred and pointed hooks that come packed with enough anger and confusion that you can’t help but cling to them. Dollar Signs gets it; the songwriting on their new album, This Will Haunt Me, is political and vehemently discontent without losing any of the self-aware criticisms and critique that help to narrow down otherwise broad stories. There’s a nervous energy that gives way to chaotic sing-alongs — a frantic blood-rush that you can’t help but crave that creates an energy so strong that it can pull you out of an otherwise constant state of anxiety. It’s the kind of comradery that comes from shared experience that bleeds into what Dollar Signs are doing, and it’s that kind of craftsmanship that keeps bringing people back to punk music.
Today, I’m excited to share the opening track from This Will Haunt Me, a viciously self-aware tear down called “Cry Hard.” The track speaks to the overwrought tendency to romanticize the idea of being so emotionally fragile that even the smallest things are quick to bring you to tears. “Cry Hard is a song that pushes melodramatic whining well over the edge of what’s normally acceptable in conventional indie music,” explains the band. “Cry Hard is self-aware in the way that we know who we are, what we’ve written before, and we wanted to get all that shit out of the way before we jumped into the deep end.”
This Will Haunt Me is out July 13th on A-F Records and can be pre-ordered here.