Anyone who has grown up in Rhode Island and attended public school remembers philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein telling them to do good deeds and to do well in class. Institutions all over The Ocean State, ranging from elementary schools to colleges, have somewhat inspirational quotes from Feinstein on them. With the title of their new EP paying tribute to Feinstein’s Jr. Scholars program, The Adjuncts from Providence unveil a new set of songs dealing with getting older, things changing and retaining youthfulness while it still exists. Feinstein Jr. Scholars In D is very raw and hard-hitting while resonating simple riffs and beats to give a punk edge. Along with all that, there’s a sense of honesty being lyrically conveyed as well.
The trio consists of Adam Hogue on guitar and vocals (who also just became Providence Monthly’s music writer), James Berthiaume on bass and guitar, and The Stilts’ Jason Dolbec on drums. Together, they bring a lot of intensity with the new EP, and there’s a bit of a jangle pop vibe along with a stripped down sound. With that being said, what makes it interesting is that there’s as much bravado being shown as there would be with a band that has multiple guitars and other numerous instruments. It’s like what The Violent Femmes accomplished when they started out as a folk punk act in the late ’70s. When these three Providence via Woonsocket transplants get together and play music, unique stuff happens.
An excellent example of holding on to youth is “Reread Harry Potter”, Hogue sings about going back to reading a childhood favorite before he buys a house, has a kid with his wife and settles down. It’s an anthem for the people in their 20s who don’t quite want to grow up yet. “Defiance, A Riot” is a short little ditty about getting old and doing your best to go against the grain of aging knowing that it’s a losing battle. People have played the game in gym class at least once and “Dodgeball” harks back to the sport as an analogy of persevering and overcoming obstacles no matter how big they perceive to be. Remember when it was the turn of the century and a bunch of people thought the apocalypse was coming? “Y2K” is a track that examines how crazy everyone were acting around that time and how Hogue plans on telling his future kid about it.