For the members of The Kominas, the personal has no choice but to be political. They're Muslim, they're American, they're brown, they're punk. They write from experience, and part of that experience includes being "the only ones" at the punk show, where they call out institutional and cultural racism with a biting grin.
The Kominas' second album, Stereotype, doesn't shout or rage, but instead shakes, rattles and rolls more than most current punk bands. (Which is to say, you can actually dance to it.) A carefree surf guitar guides the sing-songy "See Something Say Something" alongside dubby production and an oh-so-brief chorus that verges on Rage Against The Machine breakdown territory.
Directors Tim Ballard and Hugo Massa visualize the song's play on the PSAs that Homeland Security plasters in airports and on public transportation: If you see something, say something. A white dude's paranoia on the subway — manifested as a pink squid-monster, of course — turns unsuspecting brown folks into burrito-munching vampires and religious extremists, which causes him to "say something" to the authorities about a steel container on its way to a picnic. It ruins lunch for everybody. Fitting with the band's M.O., it's all a bit silly, and The Kominas' members don't mean to discount real threats. It's just that, as they suggest, "You need more evidence."
Stereotype is out now on Bandcamp. The Kominas' upcoming tour dates include stops in Philly, Brooklyn and Chicago.