There’s a tangible and overtly raw quality to Brandon Williams a.k.a. Chastity, an alternative punk project from small-town Ontario. This is especially true on his latest offering, Suffer Summer, a collection of energetic and rallying-cry punk rock for the disaffected and disenfranchised youth. While the record is obviously an ode to the past relationships of Williams and how temporary happiness can actually be (there’s a heartbreaking song called “The Barbed Wire Fence Around Happiness”), it rings even louder during the pandemic—a time when many have been forced to live in isolation, on the fringes of society.
Suffer Summer sounds a bit PUP and a bit La Dispute, and you cannot ignore the sheer power of some of the vocal work on a song like “When You Go Home I Withdrawal.” Williams knows how to make simple, but extremely catchy song structures that demand head-banging and sometimes, slow ballroom dances. Dallas Green aka City and Colour even makes a cameo on the acoustic slow burn “Vicious Circle,” which has some “Happiness by the Kilowatt” vibes.
Hopefully, Chastity will be able to tour this record soon, because I can already envision fresh 18-year-olds chanting the Suffer Summer songs live as they crush their first legal beer.