Black and white photo of Plosivs performing live
Credit: Chris Valle

The pandemic has shattered so many bands that any project that’s come together since March 2020 represents a small victory. And when the project in question is as much fun as Plosivs—a new four-piece consisting of vocalist and guitarist Rob Crow, vocalist and guitarist John Reis, bassist Jordan Clark, and drummer Atom Willard—the victory isn’t so small. If you’re familiar with the work these west-coast punk luminaries have done in Pinback, Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Mrs. Magician, and Against Me!, among others, you’re probably anticipating high-intensity rock ’n’ roll you can shake your hips to—and you’d be right. Plosivs’ self-titled debut full-length (on Reis’s Swami imprint) is exactly that kind of rock ’n’ roll, and it doubles as a demonstration of the power of making music with friends to purge anxiety and dread. On “Iron Will,” Crow’s sweet melodic sensibility gives Reis’s ferocious guitar playing a new sheen without smoothing out its wonderfully jagged edges. The band’s hooks (especially on “Iron Will” and opener “Hit the Breaks”) will bounce around in your head for days, while “See You Suffer” and “Pines” start out sounding like straightforward pop punk before before taking a left turn into something more complex. COVID isn’t in the rearview mirror just yet, and even if it were, there’s plenty of additional strife and heartache happening (the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, the cruelty of Republican officials toward LGBTQ+ children in their own communities) that would make it impossible to feel like the world is back to “normal.” But Plosivs seem to have found a sweet spot between sunny resilience and fiery rage—everyone walking away from their Sleeping Village show ought to feel just a little bit better about the world than when they walked in, and these days that’s no small thing. Make sure to show up early for Chicago punk four-piece Meat Wave, who just announced they signed with Swami, and recently released their first single for the label “Honest Living.”

Plosivs, Meat Wave, Fri 3/25, 9 PM, Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont, $24, $20 in advance, 21+