• Demo by High Priests

Ian’s Party is upon us. The four-day, four-venue punk-rock festival kicked off last night and swings into full gear this evening with stacked lineups at Quenchers, Cole’s, and the Mutiny. There are more than 50 bands playing the party this year, and today’s 12 O’Clock Track, “What It Was,” comes from one of my favorites of the bunch, newcomers High Priests—they’re set to play the Mutiny on Sun 1/4. This three-piece formed about a year ago and features powerhouse drummer Mustafa Daka of the Brokedowns, who trades in his signature double-time gallop for a heavy-handed four-on-the-floor stomp in these noisy, moody postpunk ragers. “What It Was” is one of only two recorded songs available from High Priests at the moment, but more is on the way soon, and if this demo is any indication, they’re going to be good. High Priests play a brash brand of crunchy punk showcasing heady, off-kilter, Hot Snakes-flavored guitar riffage, over-the-top yelled vocals, and a rock-solid rhythmic backbone. The sound is explosive and exciting, and I can’t wait to hear more from these locals.