Washington D.C.’s punks Bad Moves are back with new single “Working For Free” off of their forthcoming sophomore record Untenable. The album is out on Bandcamp and Youtube this Friday, June 26, and then out physically on Giovanni Records July 3.
The track fits in well with today’s anti-capitalist post-punk scene, reminiscent of current bands like Parquet Courts or Bodega. About the song, the band said in a press release:
“Working For Free” is a song about precarious work. The lyrics are located within moments of extreme stress and humiliation experienced while working in the food service industry. There’s a focused anger around injustices inherent to the tipped wage system, but that anger extends to all the systemic ways the reproduction of wealth depends on free and underpaid labor.
Though the song was written before the pandemic, the precarity described is now more glaring than ever. The service workers whose industries have shut down are also the people expected to bear the brunt of exposure risk as economies reopen. Especially for undocumented workers who haven’t had access to unemployment benefits, there is little recourse to financial stability. Of course, on an individual level, a virus doesn’t care who you are, and will wreck your life indiscriminately if it finds you. But in the aggregate, widespread hardship amplifies existing inequality. The groups with less money, security and social capital are always going to fare worse.
Preorder Untenable here, and listen to “Working For Free” below: