SP is comprised of lead vocalist Steve Albertson, guitarist Steve LaBate, bassist James Holland, and drummer Allen Kronenberger — with all of them meeting in the summer of 2016 getting beer at Dangerbird Records party. Over the ensuing months, they solidified their relationship and even spontaneously writing songs at their rehearsal space, and have shared bills with everyone from Hospitality and Belle & Sebastian to Richie Ramone, Single Mothers, Pile and the Murder Junkies.
The ensuing product is the debut EP from SP’s, Rise/Fall. The EP will be released on February 15th via Baby Robot Records, and it shoots out of a cannon fighting wars against nationalism, toxic masculinity Guin violence, propaganda, and more. Rise/Fall is the band’s rollicking, eccentric left-wing attack and pulls no punches.
For the EP, SP’s teamed up with engineer Dylan Ely (The Coathangers, Ministry, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead) at L.A.’s Portia Street Studio. The band shines with their ability to blend 80’s/90’s punk with elements of modern garage, psychedelic rock. Their own songwriting technique though gets even further in the past, looking along the lines of Woody Guthrie, whose bold anthems for the marginalized and working poor would become the backbone of political punk.
Ahead of the EP’s release in February, we are partnering up with SP’s to debut the title-track, “Rise/Fall.” The Song was written in response to Donald Trump’s “America-first” policies, and is an anti-nationalist track that calls out imperial superpowers in the U.S., Russia, and China.
Explaining to Substream, SP’s vocalist Steve Albertson (also a member of Illiterates) shares:
“SP’s write all our songs together, spontaneously, in the same room at full volume. We start with an improvised bass line or guitar hook and build off of that until we have the basic song structure down. On this new single, we came quickly to the gang vocals, chanting “rise and fall” in unison for the chorus. Once we had that in place, I knew the song was going to be about the shit show playing out between our major world powers, and the way they ebb and flow through cold wars, proxy wars, culture wars and straight up military might.
‘Rise/Fall’ is an anti-nationalism song. It calls out the U.S., Russia and China, but it was written mostly in response to Trump’s isolationist ‘America-first’ policies and, on the flip side, the U.S.’s never-ending wars in the Middle East and its complete disregard for human life and suffering wherever there are resources to exploit for profit. Our leaders are always taking and taking, and at the same time they’re building walls, creating division, pitting white against black, straight against gay, middle class against poor—not to mention murdering innocent people in far-off places with flying remote-control robots.
In defiance of all that, SP’s is about bringing people together, and celebrating our differences while also condemning anyone whose only goal is power and wealth at the expense of everybody else. I grew up a shitty skate-punk kid listening to The Clash, Propagandhi and Dead Kennedys, so these kinds of songs are in my blood.”
Leading up to the release of Rise/Fall, SP’s are also partnering with French directors The Bazz Bros — aka Nick and Yann Bazz (Prince, U2) — and their production company, So Many Worlds, to create a music video for the EP’s title track in which the band is cast adrift on a tumultuous CGI ocean. It’s an apt metaphor for life on the road in these United States of America, 2018, and SP’s plan to embark as soon as their debut EP drops. You can catch them up and down the West Coast this February and March, and keep up with them on Facebook and Instagram.