Arts Desk

The Electricutions’ Rust Belt Punk

Scott Wilson's lyrics are known for their conscience, as evidenced by The Electricutions' 2009 track "Locked Gates/Lonely Roads," a blistering, three-minute indictment of American immigration policy. On its new single "Forgotten City," released Feb. 15 on Windian Records, the band turns its concern to the industrial decline that spans from Western New York to the Upper Northwest. Images of the Rust Belt are supposed to conjure the sad violins of defeat, not driving, memorable guitar licks of protest, right? If Chrysler can deploy Eminem for a Super Bowl love letter to Detroit, surely punk-rockers can speak up too.

Wilson isn't fucking around on "Forgotten City." It's another Windian Records screamer, one designed to get the audience ginned up about crumbling skylines and decaying industrial bases. The jacket for the 7-inch single depicts an industrial-age map of Wilson's hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., recalling a time, long since passed, when the shores of the Great Lakes bristled with commerce. But The Electricutions are on to something with "Forgotten City." In conjuring a region littered with cavernous warehouses and empty garages, banging out a high-octane rager might be the best act of defiance.

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