Street Sects are Leo Ashline and Shaun Ringsmuth, an Austin-based duo who blend harsh industrial metal with teeth-clenching hardcore for a resultant sound that foregoes typical punk paradigms in favor of a gritty, glitchy celebration of the ol' ghost in the machine. Following last fall's debut album End Position, the pair have returned with a new 12-inch, Rat Jacket. It's not so much a follow-up as it is a creative sidestep. "If End Position was a bullet to the head," the band described it when announcing its release, "then Rat Jacket is a knife in the back."
Today, Street Sects have teamed up with Revolver to unveil "In Prison, At Least I Had You," a seven-minute ripper set to appear on the new release, out October 6th via The Flenser (you can pre-order it here). The gritty cut — which arrives in the wake of the previously-shared "Blacken the Other Eye" — finds Ashline and Ringsmuth infusing their caustic din with cleanly-sung melodies and pointed riffage.
"Although all four songs on Rat Jacket touch upon some aspect of betrayal, 'In Prison, At Least I Had You' feels the most personal and specific as to what I was trying to say lyrically on this EP," says Ashline. "In the lyrics, the narrator is looking back upon a life of misfortune, hardship and poor choices. He's not looking back upon this life with sadness or regret, but rather with a sense of dry amusement and a shrug of the shoulders. After all, it could have been worse, and he's lived a lot longer than he ever thought he would. Throughout most of his life, he's been able to avoid the more common trappings of modern human conscience. Morality, and by extension guilt, have always been vague concepts to him at best. The world never gave him anything, so what could he owe the world? He feels removed from things he's done, and the things that have happened to him as a result, as if they had happened to someone else. Yet there is still one thing that haunts him: love.
"In a way, this is probably the closest we've come to writing an actual love song. It's about realizing the importance of a love in hindsight, after it's too late. Many of us know what it's like to betray ourselves and ignore our own needs. We know what it is to have sacrificed love for a so-called sense of independence ... for a freedom that, as it turned out, we never really wanted in the first place."
Stream "In Prison, At Least I Had You" now, and check out the itinerary for Street Sects' upcoming North American dates with avant hip-hop outfit Dälek below.