It’s hip as hell right now for young adults of the world to refer to ourselves and our lives as trash. The long-term failure of our generation has been spelled out nonstop by our elders for the last ten years; needless to say, that’s hardly motivation for us to actually grow up or get our shit together, much less to an “adult” standard that feels both unattainable and outdated. The Holy Mess, one of Philadelphia’s most underrated basement-punk exports, revels in this concept on their latest EP Trash Age through a classic burst of familiar punk rock songwriting. Pairing some fresh melodies with the nihilistic glee of celebrating our garbage existence, the three-song EP inspires solidarity by invoking a message we can all get behind: thy shall rage, even when the walls are caving in, your life and body are deteriorating, and humanity itself is careening toward an inevitable implosion. How uplifting!

The EP makes great use of relatable and repeatable lines that paint an image of self-depreciation, confessing inalienable truths like “my brain is still a chemical spill” on the title track, or rallying a tried-and-true gang to shout “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE IN THE TRASH AGE!” on the moderately satanic “Flesh of the Fresh, Blood of the Dove.” (For extra anarchy, check out the music video for the aforementioned song.) Musically, it’s an abrupt blast of time-honored melodic aggression that clocks in under ten minutes. A bit formulaic, sure, but overall the EP shines with energy, likely due to the fact that it was recorded live and in less than a day. After all, punk rock was always meant to be grisly and imperfect, and both those characteristics will flourish for those already partial to the din of guitar distortion so emblematic of the genre.
Trash Age was self-released by the Holy Mess and is available on Bandcamp, so let’s all shirk our responsibilities to rage in whatever manifestation of “raging” best suits us. At least we’re self-aware trash.