For a long time, you couldn’t go more than a few months without getting a new Self Defense Family record. Self Defense, a revolving-lineup band built around singer Patrick Kindlon, were a prolific cult force, and you had to be a dedicated head to keep up with all of it. (One of the band’s members, at least part of the time, was Ian Shelton, from Militarie Gun and Regional Justice Center.) Lately, though, Kindlon has been busy with Drug Church. There hasn’t been a Self Defense album since 2018’s Have You Considered Punk Music?, though there was also a 2020 archival series and a 2021 graphic-novel soundtrack. This week, we’re getting a new Self Defense live album, and it includes a cover of a Neil Young classic.
On Friday, Self Defense Family will release the new live LP Law of Karma Live: Fake Shit Wins But Not Tonight. The record comes from recordings of 2019 shows in Brooklyn, Boston, and Philadelphia. It includes a bleak, apocalyptic six-minute version of “On The Beach,” the title track from the 1974 album that Neil Young released when he was at a moment of deep personal crisis. Self Defense’s faithful cover keeps the looming bad-vibes feelings intact, and it must’ve been a hell of a thing to see live at a hardcore show.
In a press release, Patrick Kindlon says, “‘On The Beach’ is repetitive and makes the listener feel isolated and atomized. It felt like a natural fit for us.” Below, listen to the Self Defense cover and the Neil Young original, as well as Self Defense’s live-album opening track “I’m Going Through Some Shit.”
Law Of Karma Live: Fake Shit Wins But Not Tonight is out 8/4 on Landland Colportage.