Direct Hit

Photo By: Jessica Kaminski | Press Photo


L - R
Steve Maury - Bass/Vocals
Nick Woods - Guitar/Vocals
Devon Kay - Guitar/Vocals
Danny Walkowiak - Drums

Bio Artist_on_tour

Milwaukee’s Direct Hit has always tested punk rock’s elasticity. Since the very beginning, the band has never anchored itself to a single sound, allowing them to jump from nervy pop songs to fist-smashing hardcore without it ever seeming strange. After all, on 2016’s Wasted Mind, they turned in a concept record that played like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas—but without all the drugged-out meandering one would expect from such a thing.

On November 3, Fat will release Human Movement, a split album that sees Direct Hit and PEARS offering up five new songs each and a cover of the other band. Nick Woods knows the long history of split releases in punk—and with Fat, too—and he sees this not just Direct Hit’s next release, but another step in punk’s long lineage. “I like to think that our band and PEARS represent an evolution of the sound Fat records defined over the last few decades,” says Woods. “I think it’s a good representation of how the tunes I grew up listening to can still be fresh and interesting from different angles.”

The first two songs on Direct Hit’s side drive those points home. “You Got What You Asked For” is an unrelenting ripper, utilizing shouts of “Fuck you! Get pumped!” and the kind of manic riffing that would make hardcore bands salivate. But it’s followed immediately by “Blood On Your Tongue,” a song that oozes with sugarcoated pop melodies. “Our band takes its cues as much from the hardcore punk that defines our local scene in Milwaukee as it does from pop punk on the coasts,” says Woods. “That range defines us to a certain extent. And so we wanted our side of this release to show that. Really we just didn’t want to look like babies knowing what PEARS would likely produce.”

While Direct Hit’s original material stands on its own, the band’s cover of “You’re Boring,” from PEARS’ debut album Go To Prison, sees Direct Hit reinvent the track so it feels their own. Some half-time grooves and deep, gravel-coated screams make it the perfect balance between pummeling aggression and bubbly power pop. And for as fun as that all is, Direct Hit uses the rest of their side to work through their feelings about living under Donald Trump’s regime.

“After the election I was just so angry and embarrassed, feeling like the previous eight years we’d made actual progress as a society when, really, we’d just swept lingering racism, sexism, and disdain for the poor under the rug,” says Woods. These songs, for as catchy as they are, serve as a pointed jab back at the people in power and they’re unending fits of destruction. “It just so happened that we started writing for this split when that anxiety was raw and fresh, which made it difficult to ignore in the final product.”

And that product, Human Movement, serves as both a fun, genre-bending experiment between friends as well as a brick being lobbed at those in power. Where Direct Hit has always found ways to merge sounds and subject matter, on this split they take it another step further. Every influence they have bleeds into these songs—along with every messy, painful feeling—and the result is inarguable: It’s the best batch of Direct Hit songs yet.


See all Direct Hit shows...
09/14/18 Chicago, IL RIOT FEST BUY
10/24/18 Ybor City, FL BUY
10/26/18 Gainesville, FL BUY

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