You guys ever have that dream where you are walking through the woods on a nice trail, and there is this dream girl there who is familiar yet really some amalgamation of a girl you had a crush on in college and Kirsten Dunst. You’re laughing and talking about her dad’s hot rod that you try to visualize, but when you do there is suddenly a herd of elk that snap you back to the woods as they run by. They are being chased by a red wizard with a gnarly grey beard and a staff that looks like a withered tree. The girl is now a majestic elk joining the stampede. She turns to you and says, ‘I’d ask you to run with us, but you aren’t one of us anymore.’ Your heart sags. You look at the wizard who is laughing and morphing into Lakitu from Super Mario Bros. You look down, and you see that your legs are now tree roots. Your body begins to stiffen as your neck moves back to a forward position. The last thing you see before the fading sunlight is your hands, now twigs?

Yeah, that dream is a doozy.

I always wake up from it wishing I had a cool rock song to cheer me up. That girl and the woods were so great until you got rejected for being in a different biological kingdom. Fortunately, German post-hardcore rockers The Antikaroshi have just the thing! We here at Everything Is Noise are pleased to present their newest single…”Sticky Hands”…oh. I get it. Jeez, I open up to you about my dreams, and I get puns? Ok.

Let’s listen together!

Hey! That was great! I love how it starts off jaunty and pleasant with the guitars, and then it kicks into a punchy rhythm with punky distorted bass, alternately squealing and angular guitars. The vocals and whole vibe are reminiscent of 31 Knots, Fugazi, and Dag Nasty collaborating on a union hall stage for a $5 show circa ’03. The motif follows throughout the song, warping and twisting the pleasant vibes into increasingly frantic and darker places as it crescendos into a dream-like reversal of itself before ending in a deconstructed version of what once was.

Thematically, “Sticky Hands” isn’t very close to my dream. Guitarist and vocalist Christoph Hennig writes, ‘When writing “Sticky Hands”, I actually had the typical power-hungry person in mind: the ex-boss, the full-time politician, or the mysterious man who pulls the strings. Driven by a relentless will to dominate and control things, he will continue on his path no matter what. The song is an outlet for our deep antipathy towards this unsavory human species.’

That is kind of closer to Home Alone 2: Lost In New York‘s Sticky Bandits, but instead of being about down-on-their-luck and fresh-out-of-jail cat burglars it is about the very real and un-jailed criminals who infect our daily lives with their greed and villainy. May their passing cleanse the world. Until then, however, I am thankful for angry, creatives like The Antikaroshi for carrying on the anti-establishment spirit of punk.

“Sticky Hands” is the second single from The Antikaroshi‘s sixth and upcoming album, L’inertie Polaire. The follow up to the excellent Extract.Transform.Debase from 2021. Their sound is hard to categorize. There is definitely D.C. punk in there, but the twists and turns The Antikaroshi pile into each song transcend any singular genre, like some sort of punk jazz messengers paying homage to past greats while carving their own path into the substrate of the underground.

L’inertie Polaire is out on May 31st via The Antikaroshi (digital, Bandcamp) and Exile on Mainstream (vinyl, pre-order here). Follow them on Instagram and stay tuned for more left-field punk ragers!

Leave a Reply