Synthetic ID are a San Francisco based band who have seemingly emerged from a 30 year old time capsule to help provide the contemporary underground a glimpse of the kind of music their dawn of the 80s brethren excelled at. Their label, 1-2-3-4 GO!, ambitiously compares Synthetic ID to a collection of the talent behind Gang of Four, Wipers, and Wire. Spend some time with Apertures, their first full length album, and you will likely find yourself inclined to agree with that favorable association.
Synthetic ID approach song melodies in a very similar fashion as their post-punk predecessors, emphasizing a constant sense of urgency and an eagerness to erupt into flurries of spiky guitar tantrums. Throughout the course of the LP, the bass and guitar develop a tendency to craft jagged, all-terrain paths for the brief tracks to rambunctiously propel over. Shouted claims of “that’s two faced!” and “there’s too much tension!” help lend healthy doses of suspicion and stress to the stormy mix. Apertures boasts the energy and anxiety of an off-road vehicle desperately racing against an advancing landslide, rattled by the harsh road conditions, and rocketed by the sense of emergency.
For those of us who missed out on the original overlap era between punk and post-punk three decades ago, where wild and weird mixed and mingled with enduring results, a band like Synthetic ID can, at the very least, provide an echoed sense of the sort of demeanor and songwriting approach that prevailed. Consider Apertures as a relic in the making.