WAKE IN FRIGHT - s/t cassette
Abraxas is proud to have a hand in the release of the debut full-length from Portland Maine's WAKE IN FRIGHT. Heavy in both mood and melody, these songs deliver an affected, soulful response to a world shifting mercilessly against us.
Mastered by Caleb Mulkerin of Cerberus Shoal & Big Blood
Limited to 100 copies. Includes stickers and download code
Wake In Fright is a punk/rock/roll trio from Portland, Maine featuring Micah Blue Smaldone (Guitar, Vox), Jonas Eule (Drums), and Greg Bazinet (Bass). The band formed in 2022, taking the name as a nod to the Ted Kotcheff film and to their shared love of 70’s Australian punk.
Micah has had a unique presence in Northeastern underground music since the mid 1990s. His first group, the Pinkerton Thugs, were an integral part of the 90s Boston Punk scene. Merging spirited street punk and Woody Guthrie style balladry with radical Anarchist lyrics, the band released a few 7” and two full length LPs.
Micah went on to play in several other bands – hardcore legends Out Cold, the Shods, Cops and Robbers, and Boston rockabilly group the Racketeers.
In the early 2000’s he began making music under his own name. Built upon a foundation of fingerstyle Country-Blues and Ragtime guitar, his solo efforts expanded over the years into full-band accompaniment, both acoustic and electric, and often vivid, harrowing lyrics.
Micah has released four solo studio albums, and has toured extensively across United States and Europe, with a focus on the Balkan countries. He has collaborated with Cerberus Shoal, Jack Rose, Death Vessel, Brown Bird, Big Blood, Asa Irons, and many others. His songs have been covered by Matt and Kim, US Girls, and Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen.
Greg Bazinet and Jonas Eule are childhood punk friends and stalwarts of the Maine music scene, both having played in several popular Portland area groups. Greg was in the Rattlesnakes, Jonas in the Endless Jags, and both in Golden Rules the Thumb – an acclaimed indie collective who have released two LPs to date.
At Greg’s encouragement, Micah recorded a handful of demos in early ‘22, his first in ten years. Returning to the rudiments of raw punk rock, the songs reflected the isolation of the previous few years, frustration with the unhinged hostility in America, and outrage at the rise of neo-fascism. The film itself provided powerful focus to these emotions, the horror of waking each day to the deranged news cycle of an empire in rapid decay.
With Jonas brought in, the three became a band and began recording after just a few months time. The songs were done in true power-trio form – single guitar, bass, drums, with no extra overdubs. The result is a punchy ten song debut, every bit as coherent as it is urgent, something clearly made in the moment by three capable musicians excited to do something creative with their built up energy.
1970’s Australia is omnipresent – AC/DC, Saints, Radio Birdman, etc... same era UK is in there as well - Richard Thompson, the Clash, the Jam, New Model Army... as well a strong vibe of early Wipers. But most of all, anyone familiar with Micah’s previous output will hear it as a continuation, albeit a little louder, of what the BBC described as his “song-cycle carrying a heart-of-darkness travelogue filled with terse observations about the malevolent force within us all that slips off the leash with a depressing regularity.”