Album Review: The Bare Minimum – ‘Hit After Hit’

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I’m going to be blunt for a moment. Toronto’s The Bare Minimum play skate punk. Plain and simple. The drums pound and guitars explode through each and every song, and there are blistering leads and howling vocals that could remind your older brother of why he enjoyed punk rock in the first place before he decided to sell his skateboard and start listening to Rooney just to impress that girl he liked in 11th grade.

But I’m getting off subject here. The Bare Minimum’s debut album, Hit After Hit, lives up to its name by hitting fast and hitting hard from song to song. From the frantic, opening tones of “Party Alarm” to the Cobra Skulls-esque swagger of closer “All Is All”, Hit After Hit is the type of album that will make you want to hop on your skateboard for hours. Or I imagine that it could make someone feel that way… I’m not a skater. This kind of in-your-face punk has hints of influences from all the usual mid-90’s Epitaph / Fat Wreck Chords suspects present in the music, but endless comparisons to NOFX or Strung Out would be an injustice to The Bare Minimum.

Lyrically, the tunes on Hit After Hit touch upon plenty of subjects that could make any punk rocker shout along. Between calling out shitty DJs while borrowing lyrics from Pink Floyd (“Laptop Jockeys”) to the extermination of mankind (“Destroy the Human Race), to the feeling of alienation even within an alienated crowd (“Nerd at a Punk Show”) to the distrusting nature of politicians (“Snake Charmer”), Hit After Hit covers a lot of ground in its half hour runtime.

“Fun” might not always the first word associated with a punk rock band, but Hit After Hit is downright enjoyable. There’s been something of a melodic skate punk renaissance (for the lack of a better term) as of late, and The Bare Minimum easily has what it takes to be at its forefront. Hit After Hit is proof of that. Don’t sleep on these guys, that’s all I can say.


RIYL: NOFX, Strung Out, Teenage Bottlerocket

Hit After Hit was released on March 25, 2014. You can stream the whole album below.

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