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Longshot Odds, Circle the Drain (Dying Scene)

Find it: longshotodds.bandcamp.com

It’s been more than 38 years since The Exploited first claimed Punks Not Dead with their debut LP, and the slogan has stuck around since — a telling marker not only of the ebb and flow of musical trends, but also the genre’s tenacity and adaptability over more than four decades. 

In name and deed, Columbia’s Longshot Odds exemplify this stalwart trait. With their third release, the six-song EP Circle the Drain, the band crafts the sort of punchy-yet-cynical pub-rock-rooted punk that draws fans to bands like Dillinger Four, with the snotty skate punk of NOFX or Lagwagon, and enough unexpected detours to offer dissent to any simple comparisons.

Of course, these detours and — dare we say, progressive — tendencies have been there from the start. Circle the Drain reprises “Blood & Asphalt” from Longshot Odds’ 2015 debut, Game Over, and stretches the song past the six-minute mark, extending a rollicking pub-folk bridge with keyboards and banjos, and expanding a power-metal solo with swells of organ.

Still, these exploratory routes work best as relief to the streamlined punk ‘n’ roll of tracks like “Willoughby” or “Home” that thrive on chugging power chords and sneering fatalism. “Home,” for instance bursts into a shout-along refrain that makes righteousness of resignation: “When the struggle’s real and really all I know / Now all I have is time to waste and lose control / If I go crawling up the walls, please reel me in / I wanna feel like I’m at home where I’m within.” It’s as easy to imagine beers hoisted above shouting, grinning pals as it is to picture a circle pit accelerating. 

And where the band finds a sweet spot of relatable malaise and cathartic chorus — which happens plenty on Circle the Drain — it’s clear what has kept punk rock alive so much longer than its detractors ever dared imagine.

What: Longshot Odds

Where: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St.

When: Thursday, Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m.

With: The Independents (headlining), Monsters from Outer Space, Turbo Gatto, Billy Riot

Price: $10 (18-plus only)

More: 803-791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com

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