Rat King Records

Bottom Bracket - "I Don't Care Enough To Stay" RKR-038

As the DIY mecca known as “Southtown” evaporated from Springfield, Illinois piece-by-piece, Bottom Bracket guitarist Mario Cannamela didn’t know where else to turn other than inward. The lifelong punk musician had been a part of a unique Midwestern group of DIY lifers who helped build one of the healthiest and exciting punk scenes in the entire country, all centered around the Illinois capital’s Southtown neighborhood — a neighborhood VICE once called a “DIY theme park” owned and operated by a “generation of musicians born and bred” in the local scene — where Cannamela and Bottom Bracket drummer BJ Pearce ran a recording studio, a record shop, and hosted shows at the longstanding, legendary punk venue Black Sheep Cafe.

They had it all at the beginning of 2018 — but everything changed by the end of the year.

Their relationship with the landlord soured and Black Sheep was forced to close, their lead recording engineer at Southtown Studios left and their business left with them. Soon, the Southtown neighborhood was nothing more than a ghost town and the Springfield punk scene emo band Bottom Bracket was a part of seemed like it was destined to the same fate as the neighborhood they once called home. “We went from having everything all in one established place at the beginning of the year to realizing we had to leave,” Cannamela said. “That realization was slow and painful.”

So, Cannamela and Pearce started documenting those feelings as they worked on new Bottom Bracket songs and pieced together I Don’t Care Enough to Stay, an 8-track funeral hymn honoring the DIY heaven they helped built and lose in what seemed like an instant. Their painful nostalgia, their longing for familiarity, and their lost sense of home all gracefully intertwines in a spectacularly paced and heartstrung debut.

I Don’t Care Enough to Stay is a uniquely Midwestern take on a coming of age record. The band’s debut album hears Cannamela scurrying to sort through the failure he felt after Southtown’s collapse while also memorializing the community’s lost DIY oasis in the only way fly-over punks know how. But Cannamela’s detailed document of the legendary Springfield punk scene and his confessional explanation of what it’s like to go down with what was once thought to be an unsinkable ship makes I Don’t Care Enough to Stay something Midwestern emo fans can’t fly over.

“I’m having a hard time letting the past die,” Cannamela sings on the opening track “Failures,” as Pearce fires off his own emotions with a cathartic drum performance that relays the two musicians’ frustrations like a punch through the wall. The group’s talk-to-yourself-in-the-mirror style of songwriting acts as a pep talk on I Don’t Care Enough to Stay, which comes out on Rat King Records on March 27th and it also hints to what happens next, as Bottom Bracket closes the book on the core of their youth and do everything they can to rebuild and move forward.