Everyone loves the 1990s. That’s just an inescapable truth. Between TV and movie remakes/sequels, entire TV stations dedicated to re-runs and endless Buzzfeed (and Buzzfeed knock-off websites) listicles, this love for the decade even permeates into punk rock. How many punk bands have popped up in the past decade that gain traction for sounding like a band that could’ve been signed to Epitaph or Fat Wreck Chords circa 1995? Hell, how many bands have we here at Dying Scene covered based around the fact that they sound like an Epi-Fat band?
In case you couldn’t tell where I’m going with this, Biffers have a sound heavily influenced by the California skate punk scene of the early 1990s. Their new album, Vice, is a perfectly fine album. 12 songs that average 2 and a half minutes, all played competently and they never venture into slow, adult contemporary jams that wax poetic. These are all things that one wants in a punk album, indebted to the 90s scene or not.
The only real issue with Vice is that is lacks a certain… I don’t know what, but it’s missing something. There are some punk albums that, regardless of innovation or not, can be listened to multiple times with great ease. Hopeless Romantic by The Bouncing Souls or Let’s Talk About Feelings by Lagwagon are great examples- neither album particularly pushed the genre forward, but once their final tracks ring out, there are times when you can’t get the whole thing to start over again quickly enough. Vice is missing that same kind of replay value.
Not to say that it’s a chore to listen to Biffers. In fact, if they continue on the path that they’ve been traveling on both their debut album, Whoa! and now Vice, they’ll be writing their own Dookie (or at least their Punk In Drublic) in no time.
3.5 / 5 – Stream it below.
RIYL: The Vandals, Green Day, The Decline