COOKED: Vermont Band Drops No-Nonsense Hardcore on “Talk Is Cheap” (PREMIERE)

Photo: Taylor Cook

COOKED from Burlington, Vermont like to emphasize the punk in their hardcore punk delivery which is refreshing in the modern landscape where heaviness trumps speed and agility. Crashing out in 2022 with their 3-song demo, Good Luck Don’t Die, they quickly showed their appreciation and skill in throwing out some ferocious and tortured hardcore anthems topped off by vocalist Bobby Bones’ harrowing tales of life on the streets as a drug addled youth.

Dropping their debut album, The Hanged Man, last year showed that for a band who expels a dangerous amount of energy onstage and in recording they’re ready to punch the throttle down well after the tank reads “empty.” Switching between blistering blasts of fury into some of the most precise two-steppers a band has dished out recently.

Not only does COOKED take their cues from hardcore bands but their sound has the nimble distinction characteristic of early pop-punk bands from the early aughts. Their song, “Overdose,” in particular, stands out as it jumps into some two-step riffs as Bobby weaves the tale of his experiences trying to cop on the street and overdosing. It’s a special track because of its youthful, carefree sound but the lyrics cast a dark shadow over it and the song turns into a madman laughing and dancing his way down to hell.

There’s always a distinction in music between those who lived a hard life and those who haven’t and it’s found in the sincerity of the lyrics and urgency of the music itself. I think of bands like Blood For Blood whose nihilism and twisted worldview was born out of their upbringing. COOKED scratches that same itch, you believe Bobby’s stories. They’re far too vivid to be fables.

Photo: Taylor Cook

Since dropping their debut album, COOKED has been in the lab working on tightening their songwriting which has led to the recording of their second EP, Ad Nauseum, which they recorded this past summer with Jeremey Mendicino. Vocalist Bobby Bones describes the band's updated songwriting as, “A lot more cut throat than The Hanged Man, a lot of that has to do with Jim’s guitar style and tone.

"Ad Nauseam has so much atmosphere to it and all the songs blend together really well, it feels like a much more cohesive project this time around. The riffs are meaner, drums are punchier, lyrics are darker: it’s all around a nice departure from our earlier songs, without losing the ethos of the band.”

The first example of this being their singles “Doomed” and “F.T.W.” which dropped last month and displayed an even harsher, more aggressive sound than previously heard. Early Trash Talk comes to mind when hearing the tracks in both the guitar tone and frenetic energy of the songwriting. The chaotic sound they burst onto the scene with seems to be plunging itself deeper and deeper into the depths, in line with the dark lyricism.

COOKED is wasting no time in promoting the next EP as they premiere another track today titled “Talk Is Cheap.” Elaborating on the lyrics Bobby explained, “Like so many of our songs- is stream of consciousness from a severely unwell drug user. There’s no getting through to someone who’s out of their mind and convinced death is the only solution.”

Bobby’s lyrics feel extremely personal and real when compared to others who write about hard living because of the personal way he’s written them. He elaborates on the lyrics for this song stating: “The first set of lyrics are line for line a war story of mine: 'Stuck outside in the pouring rain/I need something to help warm up these veins/I'm outta dope The only thing that I’ve got/A flame to heat up this coagulated blood clot shot.' 

"I remember laying down in the lowest level of this parking garage trying to dry off next to one of those big vents that eject warm-ish air. I was freezing from being in the rain all day with nowhere to go, constantly being kicked out of whatever spot I would try to warm up at. I had no friends, no family, no support system, nothing. It was moments like that where I really felt like a stray dog, just waiting to be caught and put down.

"I remember these memories very vividly, I remember how I felt, what everything smelled like, and how disgusting it all was. My sister always jokes that my songs are like my diary, and I think she’s probably right about that. All of my inspiration comes from moments in my life, paired with what I thought I knew then, mixed with what I know now.”

COOKED would like to shout out: Gumskab, The Path, Louzy, Fishface, Blosson, Dead Solace, Torn, Split in Half, Void Bringer, Wisdom & War, Clock Out, Edict, Tino Valpa, Get a Grip, Dead Street Dreamers, Misery Whip, Jon Contra, State of Mind Recordings, Ouchfinger, Robbery, and all the homies that keep coming to shows and having fun with us.

COOKED will be releasing Ad Nauseum on February 9th and they will be playing shows in promotion of the record leading up to and after the release. 

Upcoming COOKED shows:
January 20 - Eliot, Maine w/ Burn Kit, Louzy, Slighted, Mankala and Gumskab
February 8 - Burlington, Vermont w/ Blossom Louzy, FishFace, Gumskab
February 16 - Winooski, Vermont w/ Violent Crimes, Dead Solace, The Path, Voices in Vain, ONE
3 shows in March TBA
A weekender in April TBA
Another weekender in May TBA


COOKED on social media: Instagram | YouTube


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