About four years ago, British producer Lack of Afro traveled to New York and recorded a bunch of tracks with Herbal T. After other projects got in the way, along with having kids, and oh yeah, a global pandemic, they finally got back on track and have their first EP, self-titled, under the name The Damn Straights.

This EP is not for the faint of heart. I say that because even though this EP is only four songs long, it starts at 11, continues at 11, and then finishes up at 11. Lack of Afro is coming in hot right out of the gate, cooking up these beats that feel something like if you took some surf punk, added some John Bonham-drums, and then threw in some hip hop for good measure and then put it all in a blender. The drums are big, the hits are big, and the energy is just through the roof. Once you press play, there’s no looking back. Herbal T feeds off that energy very well, and he uses it to rhyme about a lot of everyday frustrations, namely those of trying to make your way as our countries navigate their way through late-stage capitalism with ineffective leadership. You can hear this frustration coming through with song titles like “The World’s On Fire (Let it Burn),” “Blow it Up,” “Alarm Clock,” and “Never Get Enough.” So if you’re frustrated with your everyday life and you want something to listen to that you can vent along to, this is the EP for you. It’s a very cathartic listen that will let you get out anything that’s been frustrating you lately.

The Damn Straights sure make their first release as a group count, coming at you with four barn burners and then just peacing out. I don’t know what else they have in store for us, but they’ve set the bar high for themselves with this EP.