Pylon Reenactment Society, "Messenger" (Chunklet Industries)
Pylon Reenactment Society is exactly what the name implies: a project led by Vanessa Briscoe Hay, vocalist for the revered and Athens, Georgia post-punk group Pylon who formed in 2014 and have dedicated themselves to performing Pylon's spunky and infectiously abrasive music for people who missed it the first time around in the '80s. Hay enlisted musicians from fellow Athens luminaries the Glands, Casper & the Cookies, and Big Atomic to rejuvenate Pylon's nervy catalog. Gyrate (1980) and Chomp (1983) are essential documents of angsty new wave and piquant post-punk that should've gained them followings commensurate with those of Athens big shots such as the B-52s and R.E.M. DFA Records reissued those albums on CD in 2007 and 2009, respectively, but they're not easy to find. An enterprising label could clean up financially and accrue good karma by re-releasing them on vinyl.
Pylon Reenactment Society are embarking on a mini-tour West Coast to promote their new single, "Messenger"/"Cliff Notes." (You can catch them at Barboza on Wednesday, December 5.) A song about romantic loss, "Messenger" is relatively subdued compared to those early Pylon sides, but PRS maintain that trademark sweetly stinging guitar tone and Hay remains as distinctive and alluringly forbidding as ever on the mic. In this case, the B-side—which Brooklyn Vegan premiered today—actually sounds like the hit to me, but the moodily melodic "Messenger" also shows that there's still juice in the group's creative core.