New music

Substance Are Ready and Waiting For When The Doors Get Kicked In

The young Houston band have just released an album of scathing hardcore punk.

by Tim Scott
24 April 2017, 11:42pm

When searching for images for the new Substance album, Derek Rathbun Googled "bad ass vintage boxing photos" and came across Jack Delaney, the French-Canadian heavyweight whose drinking was as hard as his punches.

It turned out to be a good match as the Houston band's new six-song 7" The Fight For Identity hits at speed. Taking some of the same frantic and stripped down hardcore of Austin's Glue, the young four-piece rail against jock and hyper masculine hardcore attitudes as well as the insecurities and anxieties that come with being a young punk kid.

Listen to the songs below and read a brief chat with vocalist Derek Rathbun.

Noisey: How much of this statement is true? "Substance is a punk band from Houston TX who stole their logo from Ooze and tries to copy Glue whenever possible."
Derek Rathbun: With the demo it was totally true but now I'd describe that release more as "16-year-olds hear Glue, lose their fucking minds, and miss the target." Now we're more like 17-year-olds biting Sperm's 'For Men' demo. As for the logo, I didn't realize until I printed a bunch of shirts that it looked almost identical to Ooze's logo. 

What is the best Glue gig you have seen?
I saw them in a living room and it went off. There were probably 100 kids packed into what was essentially a small garage with carpet. It was almost necessary to slam or else you were getting crushed into a wall.

Your launch was at a venue across the road from a bus terminal. Are bus terminal neighbourhoods sketchy in Houston?
Not really, just kinda weird. We get a reputation for being a dangerous city but no one wants to mess with punks. It's mostly just homeless people who just smoked Spice walking around the East End asking for bus fare. Anytime they come up to the bar and ask what's going on I let them in and they love the energy.

Your lyrics are deal with masculinity, insecurity and conflict. Do you feel some catharsis in writing songs and screaming the words in peoples faces?
The process is very cathartic. From writing lines to each song and then playing them live, I feel like I'm letting out every bit of rage that every day brings into my life. They're all about real people and experiences that I've encountered while being around all the ignorant machismo that one tends to encounter.

Who is the 'they' who are breaking down the door in "What Will You Do?"
They're whoever has ever tried to take a piece of you. Anyone who has ever attempted to change you or steal your identity and individuality away from you. They're trying to break into your heart and mind and decide what you feel and how you think. They're going to try to build up walls for you and they will succeed if you let them. Break down every fucking wall they put up.

'The Fight For Identity' is available now through Bandcamp.

Image: Josh Robicheaux