Like it did for everyone, the pandemic caused shifts; founding member Thanasi Paul left the band and, for the first time, the remaining trio entered the studio without a set of fully-written songs. Writing on the fly, the band harnessed the creative energy of reuniting and shaped it into a new EP, Perfect. Overall, little has changed sonically from Patience to Perfect. Will Yip returns on production, rendering the band’s polemics in startling detail and the band is just as raging, tight, and tuneful. But beneath the surface the scars of a year spent in isolation show.

“Control” opens the album in unusually restrained style, with Marisa Dabice painting over burning anger with sweet melodicism. “I'm in control / That's what I tell myself / When all the walls around me close in'' she confesses. However, as everyone has found over the past year, attempts at control prove just to be an alluring fantasy. The song quickly explodes into searing riffs, offering only the slightest respite at the end before launching into the punishing hardcore of “Perfect.” Dabice tears down polished social media facades, ripping through the song with feral energy and sardonic lyrics - “Tell me I’m beauty / Tell me I’m fit / Spit in my face / Laugh at my tits.”

“To Lose You” feels like the “Drunk II” of the EP - that is to say it’s a nearly perfect balance of gorgeous soaring melody and longing confession. It serves as the moving centerpoint of the record before giving way to more hammering punk riffs with “Pigs Is Pigs.” Here bassist Bear Regisford, the band’s only black member, takes over lead vocals, sharing the rage that's boiled up over a lifetime of seeing systemic violence played out daily. “And it’s fucked / George couldn’t breathe / Yeah this is fucked / Breonna needed sleep.” Bear screams his way through the song, ending in a thrashing call to action—”Ask yourself / What is wrong? / Are you sold? / Pick your lines.”

Finally, the record ends on a contemplative note with “Darling,” probably the biggest change on the record. Fans who caught some of Dabice’s solo live streams in the early days of quarantine could recognize a similar character here, with the stripped back presentation allowing the band’s vulnerable center to surface. While it's the least immediate song on the record, the track also spotlights some of Dabice’s most plaintive lyricism—“Darling I will always defend you / Darling when the sun shines it shines for you.”

When the band entered the studio for Perfect they wrote what they were feeling: pissed off, lonely, and powerless. The resulting work gives a seething voice to the band’s cries of anguish. Though the EP doesn’t quite feel like bold new territory for the band, it does find them equally blunt and blistering. Now, all that’s left is for them to hit the road again, shaking the world with the kind of fervent power that was so missed in 2020. Having survived the year with every bit of fury intact, that power feels more indispensable now than ever.