Michigan trio Greet Death have shared their third new single of recent months, “Punishment Existence”. As expected from that title, “Punishment Existence” comes from a tough place, as singer Logan Gaval explains:
“This song was originally about my girlfriend’s Uncle and his drawn out battle with cancer. I couldn’t come up with a second verse so I asked Sam to write one as well. I love his verse and the piano part we came up with. I will never forget the night we finished tracking ‘Punishment Existence.’ My Mom texted me that my Grandma had passed away. Connie was a matriarch and a very cool person who loved music. She would drink half a bud light and put the cap back on it and stow it away in her fridge. She would call you a ‘bitch’ or a ‘shithead’ if you beat her in poker. Heather’s uncle Kevin was one of the kindest people I’d ever met and built an orphanage in India among other things. Anyway, I think this song is about loss in general. Whether it’s time lost working our jobs during the pandemic, loved ones lost, loss of hope… Great people are taken from this earth and we’re left with the dregs of humanity. I don’t know if that’s actually true but that’s how I felt when I wrote this song and how I feel right now.”
Beginning with the sighed admission “I get off of work and I just crawl into my bed / Staring at the ceiling, lost in thought about death”, Greet Death really hit a nerve. From there we sink and spiral along with the band, falling deeper into their gentle fuzz-rock arrangement and harmonising with their thoughts about everything coming to an end and losing time. However, “Punishment Existence” has a twinkle in its melodies and a natural warmth in the voices, telling us that macabre thoughts like this aren’t always bad. Sure, there’s not much positivity in the words themselves, but the way that Greet Death present their feelings is so open that you feel embraced by their honesty, cheered by the fact that we’re all going through similar cyclical thoughts and experiences together.