Borrowing elements from Ramones, Green Day and
Op Ivy, this hard-edged pop punk sinks in like a hookworm
burrowing deeper with every listen. It's deceptively innocuous
the first time round, but many subtle touches reward repeated
listens. Drummer Zac-D has the snare turned off the entire
album, which is initially distracting but the unexpected stutter
on "Long Way Down" and "Lazy" finishes Tommy
Kloss's bass rhythm like a Siamese twin. Kloss takes fascinating
journeys, by the way. Bouncy rumble-seat runs meet up with Rob
Vannice's guitar, and then stray down a parallel path where
they only see each other through trees and fences.
The massively amusing (or offensive, depending on your sensibilities)
revenge fantasy "Covered in Blood" reveals Vannice's
clever vocal paths, lyrical choices, and morbid sense of humor.
I always picture Sissy Spacek when he sings, "Covered
in blood you don't look so pretty/ bitch you're gonna die/ sticking
needles in your eyes/ you fucking whore." "Same Old
Song" features equally clever lyrics in a different vein,
"Piece by piece/ watch the puzzle dissolve/ some of the pieces
fit/ but most will never be solved." So dude can turn a phrase
and has no problem thinking sideways.
Vannice gets a disturbing guitar tone and a limping monster rhythm
on the ska-tinged "Break of Day" that keeps it from
falling into Sublime territory. "Never Say Goodbye"
is a little more generic two-tone. On "Stray" Kloss
pulls out another badass bassline while the vocals skip along
with a Saturday morning familiarity. "Shades of Gray"
continues the ska motif, but transforms into a genre-crossing
epic as impressive as my favorite unknowns Putrid Flowers.
Skits like George Bush with a laugh track get skipped over once
you've heard them, but the fourteen real tracks are a plentiful
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