After capturing the attention of Thomas Barnett, the singer of Strike Anywhere, New Mexican Disaster Squad was quickly signed to A-F Records, home of the legendary Anti-Flag. At first listen, New Mexican Disaster Squad’s self-titled second LP seems as if it were made 20 years ago in D.C., alongside Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Dag Nasty.
Although NMDS may sound like old-school veterans, the four band members were merely infants at the time their influences were in their primes. Forming in 1999 in Orlando, Fla. (not New Mexico), the twenty-somethings in NMDS craft explosive punk rock that is obviously influenced by ’80s hardcore. New Mexican Disaster Squad packs a mighty punch, with shouted vocals, intense riffs and face-paced beats while maintaining a punk-rock attitude throughout, as the songs embody a rejection of hegemonic values. In the acerbic “Fuck The Oscars,” vocalist and guitarist Sam Johnson rants, “Fuck the Oscars and the media’s polls / It’s a simple method called population control / Open your eyes / Find the real problem / Not the disguise.”
Though the songs are abrupt — most under two minutes — and often similar in structure, with all the superficial Hot Topic “punk” bands out there, NMDS’s solid, straightforward punk rock is refreshingly uncontrived.