Artist: Sick of it All Album: Death to Tyrants Genre(s): Rock Subgenres(s): Hardcore Punk Released: 2006 Length: 37 minutes Language(s): English Label(s): Abacus Records
01. Take the Night Off
04. Uprising Nation
05. Always War
06. Die Alone
07. Evil Schemer
09. Make a Mark
10. Forked Tongue
11. The Reason
13. Fred Army
14. Thin Skin
15. Maria White Trash
16. Don’t Join the Crowd (European Bonus Track)
Sick of it All Death to Tyrants Cover
Sick of it All Death to Tyrants Review
Death to Tyrants is a testosterone fuelled rage fit by Sick of it All. After the first few songs you’ll come to realise that Sick of it All are content with playing short, snappy bursts of hardcore punk and aren’t trying to do anything else. While the passion is clearly there, the lack of desire to diversify their sound leaves each song on Death to Tyrants sounding all too similar to the ones before it.
However the biggest grievance on Death to Tyrants has to be vocalist Lou Koller, who insists on spluttering over what could have been some well-crafted songs without his constipated gorilla cries. Instead, Death to Tyrants turns into nothing more than an endurance test to get to the end of it.
Death to Tyrants is best left to the hardcore punk enthusiasts as it will leave the rest of us feeling sick of it all before the album is halfway done.
Artist: Melvins Album: A Senile Animal Genre(s): Heavy Metal, Rock Subgenres(s): Doom Metal, Hardcore Punk, Sludge Metal, Stoner Rock Released: 2006 Length: 41 minutes Language(s): English Label(s): Ipecac Recordings
01. The Talking Horse
02. Blood Witch
03. Civilized Worm
04. A History of Drunks
05. Rat Faced Granny
06. The Hawk
07. You’ve Never Been Right
08. A History of Bad Men
09. The Mechanical Bride
10. A Vast Filthy Prison
A Senile Animal is the 15th album by sludge metal pioneers Melvins. Playing alongside founding members Buzz Osborne (guitar) and Dale Crover (drums) are bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis of Big Business. Having 2 drummers might sound redundant or gimmicky even for a band that pioneered the unlikely fusion of hardcore punk and doom metal but any sense of doubt is buried deep under an avalanche of marinated distortion and mayhem.
All 4 band members share vocal duties but you’ll be hard pressed to single out who’s who with their uniformed ghoulish wails. Aside from the odd line, the lyrics are hard to make out even at the best of times. In a way that can only be pulled off in rock music, the lack of clarity here adds a certain murky charm to A Senile Animal.
The blend of hardcore punk and unassuming doom metal plods with the aesthetics of stoner rock rings true to the sludge metal sound. Most songs on A Senile Animal lean heavily in favour of the hardcore punk influences as well as the unique styling of the Melvins. The major change comes with the last 3 songs; A History of Bad Men, The Mechanical Bride and A Vast Filthy Prison. They are on average 6.5 minutes long (whereas most other songs are about 3 minutes) and the tempo all but dies so that the Melvins can let the doom metal inspiration ooze out.
Their flexible song-writing and genre-bending styles add a wealth of depth that is rounded off by how fluidly drummers Dale Crover and Coady Willis play together. The Melvins will give you a real tour de force on A Senile Animal that you won’t find anywhere else.
Against All Authority The Restoration of Chaos and Order Review
Artist: Against All Authority Album: The Restoration of Chaos and Order Genre(s): Rock Subgenres(s): Hardcore Punk, Punk Rock Released: 2006 Length: 38 minutes Language(s): English Label(s): Hopeless Records
01. The Restoration of Chaos and Order
02. Sweet Televised Destruction
03. All Ages Show Tonight
04. Collection Scars
05. Radio Waves
06. Silence is Golden But Duct Tape is Silver
07. Shut it Down
08. Sunshine Fist Magnet
09. I Just Wanna Start a Circle Pit
10. War Machine Breakdown
11. Grinding My Life Away
12. The Production of Self Destruction
13. Buried Alive
14. Best Enemies
The Restoration of Chaos and Order is the final album by punk rockers Against All Authority. The band has shed off almost all of their former ska punk influences with the exception of a handful of ska rhythms and a trumpet on Radio Waves and Best Enemies whereas some of their older material made use of a larger brass section consisting of a trumpet, trombone and saxophone.
Against All Authority are still as furious as ever and with the removal of almost all of the ska punk influences they have decided to stick to what they know and struck a fantastic balance of straight ahead punk rock and the more aggressive hardcore punk sound that they slip in and out of with little effort.
Danny Lore’s has improved on his vocal performance a fair bit since the release of their previous studio album Nothing New for Trash Like You in 2001. He still sings in a familiar throaty voice but he is much easier to understand and the band has a way of getting you to pay attention to what he has to say over everything.
The lyrics tend to focus on social/political commentary, the highs and lows of life as well as more specific subjects like the murder of Brian Deneke on Sunshine Fist Magnet and what the spirit of the punk rock scene is supposed to be on Shut it Down.
Against All Authority broke up in 2007, ending their 15 year run on a high note and truly showing how far you can stretch 3 chords and 6 strings without throwing in a single piece of redundant material.
Artist: Dropkick Murphys Album: Signed and Sealed in Blood Genre(s): Folk, Rock Subgenres(s): Folk Rock, Hardcore Punk, Punk Rock Released: 2013 Length: 41 minutes Language(s): English Label(s): Born & Bred Records
01. The Boys Are Back
02. Prisoner’s Song
03. Rose Tattoo
05. Jimmy Collins Wake
06. The Seasons Upon Us
07. The Battle Rages On
08. Don’t Tear Us Apart
09. My Hero
10. Out on the Town
11. Out of Our Heads
12. End of the Night
Dropkick Murphys Signed and Sealed in Blood Review
Signed and Sealed in Blood is the Dropkick Murphys 8th album overall and if you’re familiar with their previous output then you’ll already have a rough idea of what you’re in for. But for those not in the know, the septet mixes bagpipes, acoustic guitars, whistles and accordions among other instruments with the standard punk rock format of guitar, bass and drums to forge an unforgettable and explosive listening experience.
Sonically, the majority of the songs are still firmly rooted in the folk punk style that they have become known for, but this time around there seems to be a stronger emphasis on creating the most glorious gang shouts and infectious hooks possible. The album features a few folk-centric songs that bring the folk instrumentation to the centre of the stage and Out on the Town even allows for a chirpy whistling break mid-song. All of this makes for a subtle, yet noticeable change in composition that allows the band to retain their trademark attitude and personality, all while branching out enough to keep their well-defined style fresh and interesting.
The vocals are clearly sung, spluttered, shouted, bellowed and chanted by 6 of the 7 band members over the course of the album. Lyrics tend to revolve around drinking, celebrating, unity and situations in life as told through fictional characters. The best example of this is in The Seasons Upon Us, a sarcastic caricature of a dysfunctional family that recounts their miserable annual Christmas gathering and is guaranteed to leave you grinning. It’s worth noting that while being a Christmas song, albeit unconventional, the way in which the lyrics are written make it timeless so that it can enjoy at any time of the year and not just when the Christmas season comes around.
The band tones back the cacophony on occasion but they rarely slow down the tempo significantly. The exception to this trend is End of the Night, a somewhat sombre sounding song that lets the listener know that the album is coming to its end. It features a rare appearance of the piano, not the most commonly used instrument in their arsenal, which is also used on Don’t Tear Us Apart to create a memorable opening and makes another small appearance later during the bridge.
Signed and Sealed in Blood is packed full of memorable choruses, catchy hooks and a passionate, energetic performance that blends 2 distinct genres, several singing styles and a variety of instruments into just over 40 minutes, which prevents it from overstaying its welcome. It will keep you coming back for more listen after listen and because of this, it could already be on its way to becoming one of the best albums of 2013.