Institute – Readjusting the Locks

Readjusting the Locks
May 17, 2019
Sacred Bones Records

It’s been two years since Institute’s Subordination LP came out. In the time since, half of the band has left Texas and moved to New York. Thankfully, despite the move, the band didn’t decide to call it a day. Instead they wrote Readjusting the Locks remotely.

The band demoed the entire album in a single day in 2018, before reuniting this past December to record with their longtime producer, Ben Greenberg of Uniform.

The album opens with ‘MPS,’ a catchy track that goes straight into discussing neoliberalism and society. It sets a good tone for some of the changes in this album.

Lyrically, Readjusting the Locks is less personal and more political commentary. The name of the album itself comes from the notion that politicians promise change, but only “readjusting the locks” in practice.

“We are stubborn, despite what we’ve preached our entire existence, we do not possess the ability to create a truly just and sustainable ‘utopia’ on this earth, nor do we have the time to reassess the future currently in store for us,” said singer and lyricist, Moses Brown. “Thus humanity will perpetually be ‘readjusting the locks’ of our existential crisis in order to socially manage a decline into absolution (as has proven to be the path of least resistance).”

Brown has the perfect vocal range for combining haunting and eerie droning, with raw stripped down 70s punk. This is absolutely a cohesive Institute album, but it’s more simplistic, with a bit more speed and snap to it.

The flow between the tracks is honestly perfect. I was sent the album as a single full sequence track, and I’ve found it really easy to get lost between the different songs, but I don’t find that to be a bad thing. Personally, I always listen to Institute’s albums from start to finish vs. pulling out specific tracks anyway.

Track nine, ‘Dazzle Paint,’ is one of the standout tracks to me. ‘Dazzle Paint’ also served as the first single from the album, which was definitely a solid choice. This song takes me back to how I felt when I first heard their 2014 Salt EP. Salt is still one of my most listened to albums, so that’s definitely a good sign. I’ve never really been able to sit still when I listen to Salt. It’s got one of those sounds that just really resonate with me, and ‘Dazzle Paint’ has the same effect.

There are a few others that really stood out, but it’s a bit hard to pull specific track names out when you’re listening to an album through a full sequence MP3. You’ll just have to go out and listen to Readjusting the Locks yourself and determine what the best tracks are for yourself.

Fans in Heatwave’s bases in London and Amsterdam will be pleased to know that the band is hitting both cities soon. Our friends at Static Shock have booked the band For June 8, with Fatamorgana at DIY Space for London. This will be the band’s first London show in three years, but first they’ll be hitting Amsterdam on May 21 with Pig Frenzy, at Skatepark Amsterdam.

The album is out tomorrow, but you can listen to three tracks, ‘Dazzle Paint,’ ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Deadlock’ on Institute’s bandcamp now.

-Linsey McFadden