I was back home on winter break, and I put on a new song I’m enamored with as I drive in the car with my mother. The tune is “No Bounty” by Plague Vendor off of Bloodsweat. Once the track concludes, my mom, expressing concern for my mental state, says, “This is angry music, I just want to make sure you’re OK.” I’m starting to think that she picked up on something important.
I love this cut for two reasons: moment and sound. The summer before my senior year of high school, I was seldom sober, and idolizing quasi-deep rappers like Wax and Watsky. Come to learn the two of them were on the Warped Tour circuit, and would be performing six hours south. So, me and three other degenerates made the trip and crashed with my brother at his college pad.
Each artist on the Warped Tour is allotted thirty minutes to perform. We drove 12-hours round-trip, spent over $200 on weed, concert tickets, and gas apiece for barely an hour of hip-hop. We joked that we were unquestionably the happiest people at the festival—making fun of the overtly emo band names like Plague Vendor, and generating a few of our own. I remember coming up with BloodNut, & Destiny’s Stepfather.
Three years later, I got around to listening to Plague Vendor’s sophomore release. I like to think of this moment as a crucial moment in my musical maturity—casting judgments aside and genuinely liking something that wasn’t kitschy rap. They’ve been one of my favorite bands ever since, inspiring me to listen to the likes of the Clash, the Pixies, and Bikini Kill.
“No Bounty” was the single I listened to before deciding to purchase the record. If I were snowed in and could have only one mp3 file, it’d have to be that song. It makes me as happy as the people in the mosh pits I’ve never been in. It makes me want to break plates and scream. Being isolated in the mountains, I could chop wood to this song on repeat for hours.
Word count: 349