Atlanta’s Starbenders have done a lot of growing up in the last two years. When the quartet first formed in 2013, they thrived on what frontwoman Kimi Shelter referred to as “blasphemous candy-coated bubblegum punk.” This energy carried them through their self-titled EP, which saw the band embracing those rowdy ethos with tracks like “Bitches Be Witches” and “Bat On A Leash”. But there’s a looming darkness behind all the mayhem, a vibe they’re tapping into directly for their upcoming 7-inch out later this year via Institution Records.
The disc’s A-side, “Powder”, could be considered a buzzkill compared to their past work. While their EP glorified debauchery, this new track paints a bleak picture of drug use. Shelter gives a low croon over slowcore guitars, talking about leaving her spine behind and doing lines of cocaine. It isn’t until the chorus that she brings back her fierce snarl, providing a well-earned release. Given the band’s bright and bratty past, there’s an added poignancy to the song; it’s a glimpse at what it’s like to realize the old vices are starting to lose their fun. It’s all packaged in the band’s matured sound, laden with the heavy distortion of growing old. Listen in below.