Music Fests Here: Something Bitter is Aiming for World Domination
New York funcore quartet had an excellent first year
If you’ve been watching the melodic punk scene in Brooklyn during the past year, you have likely seen Something Bitter play a show or two.
They are an unlikely quartet, with their members originally from England, Ireland, and Idaho. “I met Jim [James Rundle, bassist] on the internet. Just like, classic, old-school Craigslist,” guitarist Alan Corcoran said. Though he only joined the band later, this speaks to a common thread in the band — Something Bitter started when guitarist and vocalist Russ Worstell put out a Craigslist ad to which Rundle responded. They met for a few beers and immediately hit it off.
That was in 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, a hard time to start a band, let alone book a practice space.
“We immediately went on hiatus,” Worstell said. They didn’t speak for almost a year. It wasn’t until venues reopened and Rundle and Worstell decided to go to a Neckscars show in Yonkers together that they got back in touch.
When Anthony Taylor moved to New York in November 2021, Worstell recruited his old friend on the drums. Worstell and Taylor played in the band SKiTTiSH iTZ when they lived in Boise, Idaho.
“We practiced as a three-piece for a few months, and we realized we needed a second guitarist, so we had a bunch of auditions. And I’d like to say that they didn’t meet our standard, but I think we didn’t meet theirs,” Rundle said. He remembered he had tried to get a project with Alan Corcoran going and decided to invite him to try out.
“It was a shitty New York winter day. It was an awful day, and I almost didn’t go, I was just thinking ‘fuck this weather,’ but I did,” Corcoran said. Corcoran joined the band, and six months later, in May 2022, Something Bitter was ready to play their first show.
They got lucky. Their second show was an opening slot for Direct Hit, together with Fat Heaven and QWAM. Ever since, they have been hammering on, sharing the stage with bands like Talking Props, Moving Targets, Warn the Duke, Oh the Humanity, Tired Radio, American Thrills, and You Vandal.
Their first EP, ‘It Doesn’t Have to be Now,’ released in September 2022, was a DIY recording.
“We recorded the drums ourselves at Astoria Soundworks, and then we did the rest of the album in Russ’s tiny office in his apartment,” Rundle said.
You could make a playlist of the bands they played with and immediately guess the sound that Something Bitter is going for. Quick-paced, melodic punk-rock, hanging on the edges of being a technical skate-punk band without ever crossing that line. From the melodic guitar lines that open up the EP on songs like ‘Dolos & Sense,’ the passionate anger brought on by Worstell in his vocals and the rest of the band’s backing shouts on ‘The Same Mistakes,’ and an appearance by Will Romeo from Neckscars on ‘What’s Next Over What’s Left,’ this six-song melodic punk-rock banger shows a band that knows who they are – something of a rarity for new bands.
Something Bitter just finished a week-long winter tour in January, skipping the warm places and going north instead. Not ready to take a break, they immediately recorded their new single ‘The Black Mill,’ released in late March.
When asked about their plans, Something Bitter is ambitious. World domination, Corcoran said, but if that is not possible, they want to record a full-length – though Rundle is still on the fence about that – and go on more tours.
“I’ve always said that I want this band to become a problem in my work life,” Corcoran said.
As we count the days until Music Fests Here, we will be sharing features on all the bands playing. Don’t have tickets yet? The flyer below will send you right where you need to be.