Today, we’re honored to premiere the new single “How to Build an Earthworm Farm” by Chicago post-punk band Alien Thing.
Described by the band as a “half psycho-narration, half diss-track aimed at the prison-industrial-complex and it’s impact on U.S. youth”, “How to Build an Earthworm Farm” is a manic breakdown amidst the Midwestern opioid crisis and a vicious take-down of the prison-industrial-complex hellbent on punishing those who suffer at its hands, rather than lifting them up. The opening line “So John’s in the city and he’s up to no good / We think it might be something serious” is delivered at a slow, molasses-like pace and immediately sets the stage for a depressing tale before quickly subverting the listener’s expectations with talk of video games and ass-scratching, then subverts them again by going full spiral into the subject at hand: “You think I’m pissed? / I’ll tell you why / My friend’s keep dying by the dozen / Which is slightly annoying”.
Vocalist Eric Pee then goes on to list by name a handful of friends who’ve died from “bullet[s] to the dome” or multiple to the to the chest and follows with “the rest were all from heroin”. The track then explodes into a raucous, raw, blistering punk attack culminating in pained cries of “SHOT UP! SHOT DEAD! SHOT UP! SHOT DEAD!”.
It then slows down once more to check in on the John mentioned in the first line. He went to prison for heroin and is trying to pull his life together. Finding it difficult to find employment due to his criminal record and unable to afford health coverage and rehabilitation, he ultimately relapses, overdoses, and dies. As Pee yells “JOHN’S DEAD! JOHN’S DEAD NOW!”, the song has gone full mad and gleeful dance-punk, the tonal clash representative of the absurdity of the situation and the fractured state of Pee’s mind as he attempts to comprehend how this can possibly be the way things are.
“How to Build an Earthworm Farm” is the lead single off of Alien Thing’s upcoming sophomore EP, ‘Yum III’, which releases July 12th. Be sure to follow the band on social media, including their Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud for updates.