SO STRESSED - MERV KING AND THE PHANTOMS

"I'm shaking / I'm shaking."

Upon first listen, these are the only audible words you catch from the 1:41 available. With each following excursion through the mire, you find fragments like "I never go to sleep," "I can taste blood when I brush" and "I'm seeing spots right now." This is a very suburban kind of nightmare.

Nevertheless, So Stressed's  crushing paranoia is gainfully served by relentless guitars and an eerie buzzing synth bass that flattens the song to an oppressive almost-groove. The band have condensed their scattered fury from 2012's Attracted to Open Mouths into a taut, white-hot declaration of pain, and that renewed sense of focus is constantly apparent.

Their new record, The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art, is out on May 26 and will be the first full-length cut by Meredith Graves' new Honor Press label.