New releases from Orlando bands: noise-rock from Fond and fierce political punk from Debt Neglector

Debt Neglector
Debt Neglector Photo by Michael Eliassen

Though maybe well-intentioned, the truth is most of us are just armchair soldiers slap-fighting on social media in the war for social justice. Orlando political punks Debt Neglector, however, have been in the IRL trenches with their action and their money.

At the zenith of the historic 2020 election season, the band made some news — and as it turns out, a difference — when they funneled all sales from their last release (the Bad Faith EP) directly to Fair Fight Action. That Stacey Abrams-founded voter enfranchisement group wound up being instrumental in flipping Georgia — and with it, the U.S. Senate — to blue. That's why I named Debt Neglector "Best punk-rock PAC" in last year's Undie Awards.

That ethos continues in Debt Neglector's next record, Dirty Water, a new 14-song album out Friday on powerhouse Orlando punk label Smartpunk Records. For this release, 10 percent of sales will be split between two groups supporting the lead-affected youth of Flint, Michigan: Flint Kids Fund and Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village. The album actually addresses that very issue right out the gate with opening track and lead single "Dirty Water."

The rest of the new LP lets the fire burn by tackling issues and examining the personal tolls of living in the current climate. As missiles of message, Debt Neglector's classic punk rock turns fierce disaffection into anthems of action and catharsis. Dirty Water is the sound and fury of some of Orlando's most righteous musical activists. It streams everywhere Nov. 5 and will be available on colored vinyl through Smartpunk and Bandcamp.

Young Orlando band Fond — whose mammoth sound pounds on rock's experimental and noisy fringes — have lately been making their way onto some quality bills around town. Recently, they posted a couple of new demos on Bandcamp, "I Have Your Face, I Have Your Name" and "Eli." Both are marks of a promising group, especially the excellent "Eli," which is a heavy and harrowing rock slither that writhes like a dark fever dream. These singles, as well as all of Fond's releases so far, are available as name-your-price downloads on Bandcamp. On Friday, Nov. 5, they'll open for witch-house titans White Ring alongside Mother Juno and DJ Maus at Will's Pub.

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