Like with many of us at the beginning of March, April 3rd wasn’t much of a thought, aside from the idea that it, like many of the weekends at a local venue here in CLT, it’d be business as usual for musicians and fans; go in, heat up, and live loud to both new & old favorite bands alike. For The Penitentials, like for many in the scene when plans got shelved, scramble time had come to see what the options were like down the road with the time frame of the scene opening back up uncertain.
While the scene, fast-forward 8 months, is still in limbo, the rockers dropped their alluded to first EP. The Self-Titled Set-Up is packed with 4 fast-paced tracks, letting listeners know that the party’s still coming, even if it’s in 2021 before the face-melting can begin again.
The start-off track, “One Over The Eight”, kicks hard with an immense instrumental anthem, painting “what-if’s” in the limited lyrics and answering back with fast-paced rock, almost as if to say “take the chance”. “Shinju” brings down the tone with continuous speed, matching the change into longing for a lost companion and time spent elsewhere.
The stand-out from the four comes out in “Dontcha Lie to Me”, soulfully inspired tied to bluesy notes with Sarah Hamlin “SH” Baldwin and Rebecca Brown belting out the scene of distrust, but ultimately showing the group of vocalists taking the incoming tricks in stride. Last up, “New Blood” ends as a good rumble, literally painting the town red with more than just the extended riffs & climax.
In case audiences needed a refresher (we know, it’s been a while since the speakers introduced us to one another), we shot out a few short questions to the gents, checking in on their status over the pandemic era;
Q1 – In just a few sentences, who are The Penitentials?
A: A group of total miscreants, brought together by cosmic debris. We’re steeped in RnR. Grit, Energy, Talent, and Total Madness.
Q2 – Since your first few shows in 2017, how far do you all feel the band has come along in its sound?
A: Since our last bands (ChoCha Loca, Hoodsnake 2006-2014), We have definitely become more melodic, as well as heavier and more into the dual guitar sound
Q3 – Where have you drawn most of your influences from?
A: Aside from the cliché of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll, honestly we really influence each other, pushing everyone to do more, listen to new music and try new things musically. Its more than music though, we’re a very family orientated band. Songwriting together is another form of influence for us, trying to write that ONE great track!
Q4 – How’ve each of you spent your time outside of the music process during 2020?
A: Mostly work, writing, art and in general staying safe in times of Covid. We’ve been in the studio recording our full length as well, which should be out by March 2021, provided that music venues will still be active after all of this.
Q5 – Where have you gotten to perform in our scene? Which venue are you most interested in playing at post-Covid?
A: The Milestone Club, Skylark Social, Snug Harbor, The Visualite, and The Neighborhood Theater are some of the venues we’ve played locally. As long as there is electricity in the air, we’ll play out with our new EP and the upcoming full-length album coming out! We’re looking forward to taking the region by storm.
Q6 – Last Question; RF20XX is half ‘n’ half music and gaming. What are your favorite games, or what was something you loved to play back when?
A: Billiards! We’re not really into video gaming that much, but one title we can play well is The Warriors (PS2/XBOX).
The Penitentials Self-Titled EP is available now on Spotify and YouTube Music! You can also support them on their Bandcamp site by grabbing a bit of their catalogue. Each cent spent goes straight into the production & release of their 2021 album, launching this upcoming March in physical form as well as on all streaming platforms!!
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Thank you for tuning into your world, for this… is 20XX.