author’s note: I’m copy and pasting this from a Google doc on mobile so apologies in advance for any formatting errors
So, I’m going to go a little smaller in scope for this Artist Spotlight, at least for the band part. Today I bring you another of my favorite Pop Punk bands, albeit one from today and from my home state: Direct Hit! (as much as I’m an exclamation point junkie, I promise it’s stylized as such).
Direct Hit! hails from the great state of Wisconsin, specifically Milwaukee (which, really, if a band is going to be from somewhere in the state 70% chance it’s Milwaukee, 29% chance it’s Madison, 1% it’s somewhere else – thanks Bon Iver for throwing off the curve). Starting in 2007 by Nick Woods, they released their first full length, Domesplitter in 2011. The lag in release of a full length was brought about because of an original philosophy to release music on a more regular, but smaller scale basis – releasing 5 EPs and a split EP in their first four years. The name Direct Hit! comes from the movie Home Alone when Kevin McAlister drops a brick on the Sticky Bandits and exclaims “Direct hit!”.
Domesplitter focused on playing fast, fun, uncomplicated punk rock. Most of the songs relate to nerdy topics – zombies, werewolves, aliens, etc. Woods stated in an interview that everybody writes songs about love, relationships, and other similar topics so he’d write about just stupid, fun things.
Some of my favorites from the album:
Failed Invasion (the beginning of this track samples the part in Home Alonewhere the band’s name comes from)
They Came For Me
In 2013, Direct Hit! released their second album: Brainless God (in the two years 5 more EPs or splits were released), released on Red Scare Industries, a not super well known but sort of known generally punk and hardcore label. The album is a concept album about a serial killer and his would-be victim trying to escape a Satanic cult in the face of nuclear Armageddon. While still not love songs, it represented a maturation musically and lyrically. The loud, in your face, speedy skate/pop punk was often slowed down a bit, showcasing Woods’ voice and allowed the music to grow and expand. Rather than have it come at you as fast and as loud as possible, Brainless God weaves together a story more akin to Fvcked Up than a Clash style. Produced along with the album, a series of short films were released expanding the concept (one of them being released on the AV Club). Brainless God was released to critical acclaim and success (well, as much as a punk band from Wisconsin gets). Sites like Alternative Press and Punknews gave glowing reviews and this album wound up on a lot of year end “best of” lists.
Songs to check out from Brainless God:
Heaven is a black hole
2014 showed a year of promise and further fame (once again, as much as a punk band from Wisconsin gets) following the positive reception of Brainless God – the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI’s biggest newspaper) named them one of “10 Wisconsin Bands to Watch”, Nick Woods appeared on Last Call with Carson Daily to talk about the band, and an article on Noisey by Woods detailing in a very punk-rock manner how to not lose money on tour (http://noisey.vice.com/blog… gathered a good number of hits. 2015 saw the release of More of the Same (Satanic Singles 2010-2014) that collects the band’s work from EPs and splits during that time.
Finally, just last week Direct Hit! announced they were signed to Fat Wreck Chords, a well known indie punk label out of San Francisco run by Fat Mike of NOFX fame.
If you enjoy very punk rock type updates on your Facebook Timeline (many of them featuring the band’s slogan of “FVCK YOU! GET PUMPED!”), DH! can be found on facebook at facebook.com/directhitband , twitter @DirectHit_sucks, or at directhitsucks.com (unfortunately, their shirt “FVCK YOU! GET TRUMPED!” has been sold out awhile).