As Friends Rust Finds That Emoticons Are A “Positive Mental Platitude”

[Cover photo credit to As Friends Rust]

Melodic Punk band As Friends Rust have announced their next full-length album, Any Joy, set for release August 18th, 2023 on End Hits Records. This marks their first new music since 2020 and first full album since 2001.

Originally formed in the late ‘90s, As Friends Rust has been through a few iterations, but it is the core line-up of vocalist Damien Moyal, guitarist Joseph Simmons, guitarist James Glayat, and drummer Timothy Kirkpatrick who are currently creating music together.

Lead single “Positive Mental Platitude,” out now, tackles thoughts on the “emptiness of emoticons as a form of communication” and the accompanying video suggests creepiness of an emoji-filled wasteland.

Speaking on the track, Moyal expands:

‘Positive Mental Platitude’ is about performative concern, using Facebook’s “Care reaction” emoji to symbolize the fairly empty gestures we make to show solidarity or sympathy without getting too close. We now have constant visibility into each other’s lives, so when we see someone suffering some misfortune, there’s an expectation to acknowledge it and empathize in spite of our own busy lives, struggles and tragedies. This dynamic requires new tools, and quick ones, to keep pace. With a single emoticon – praying hands, a heart, a muscular arm flexing – we can fulfill our ends of the social contract, neatly and conveniently. Reflexively. It’s not without its merits. I do it. But it’s not particularly meaningful, either. Sweet, but no staying power.

As Friends Rust wrote, recorded, and produced Any Joy mostly from the comfort of their own homes. Vocals were recorded in Ann Arbor, MI, guitars in Gainesville, FL and Brooklyn, NY, with the exception of the drums, which were recorded in a studio by John Howard in Gainesville.

Not currently having a permanent bassist, the band called upon friend Andrew Seward (of Against Me!) to play bass on most of the record, with additional contributions from Simmons. Mixed by James Paul Wisner in Orlando, FL and mastered by Matthias Lohmöller in Germany, the creation of the album was “a truly a collaborative and international effort.”

The band will perform at The Fest in Gainesville this October, have a show in Brooklyn, NY in November and have just announced a European tour alongside Don’t Sleep, with more shows planned for this year.

Tour Dates:

w/ Don’t Sleep

Sept 29 – Germany Schweinfurt Alter Stattbahnhof

Oct 1 – Germany Leipzig Conne Island

Oct 2 – Belgium Antwer Kavka

Oct 3 – UK London Boston Music Room

Oct 4 – Germany Wiesbaden Schlachthof

Oct 5 – Germany Köln Gebäude 9

Oct 6-  Germany München Hansa 39

Oct 28 – Gainesville, FL @ The Fest

Nov 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus

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