Don’t call it a comeback, because Straight Jacket Escape never really went away. After rising from the aftermath of high school punk rock heroes Mr! Wednesday sometime in the mid-2000s, Straight Jacket Escape honed their previous band’s ‘80s-inspired hardcore into something catchier but no less invigorating. They played a few shows, recorded a demo, and faded into the background as the all-ages venues closed down and the real world came calling. It’s a familiar story.
But while a lesser band would have hung it up, Straight Jacket Escape kept making noise for fun, eventually re-emerging from their basement this year to play their first show in over half a decade (in a basement) and record their first track in even longer (in a different basement). Seeing these dudes in a legitimate venue is like spotting a bald eagle in the wild, so Built4BBQ is obviously thrilled to host the elusive SJE’s first above-ground show since like 2007 at the Star Spangled Bonanza. They’ll kick off the 4th of July festivities on the Pauly’s Hotel stage at 7pm. You can catch their brand new track, “On & On”, on the Entrée sampler – it’s a slice of speedy, catchy punk rock that might seem like a throwback if these guys hadn’t been playing music like this since the early aughts. A new EP is in the works and we can’t wait to hear it. Of course, Straight Jacket Escape is too punk for a website, so you’ll have to track them down the way you found bands when you were 15… onstage at a sweaty club or dingy basement, or maybe on a cheap compact disc compilation album. Recommended if you like Lagwagon, Lifetime, NOFX, skateboarding or circle pits.