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Alright, listen up you lovers of melodic/political/skate punk, I’ve got an album you need to know about. It’s called Straight. No Chaser and it’s the latest EP from Ohio’s Amish Electric Chair. For those of you not yet familiar with the sound of this Midwestern threesome, they play fast, fist-pumping, political oriented punk rock with raspy, yet melodic, vocals. Think Anti-Flag with perhaps a bit more venom.
The EP kicks off with the track Social Revolution, which you may have guessed, is a classic political punk rock anthem calling for social change. Hard hitting, straight-ahead punk at it’s best right here, complete with a fist-pumping call to action chorus, “We may have found our solution, we need a social revolution!”, call and response group shouting and even a little rap-like breakdown to give this song a little something different.
The next track, Jellico, Tennessee, isn’t quite as compelling musically as its predecessor, but its lyrics are interesting if you’ve read the band’s bio. The chorus, “Fuck you, Jellico, Tennessee”, is sung/yelled together in unison by the band, which I’m guessing has something to do with the band’s experience in Tennessee when their van broke down a few days before Christmas and was subsequently stolen right off the side of the highway. I’d probably write a similar song.
What We Could Use is more similar to the first track musically and thematically, and again features a spoken word, rap-like breakdown, which is sorta cool. Lots of angst in this song, which I love, and some great “Hey, hey, heying”.
Things slow down significantly for the album’s fourth track, State Of The Union. This song is by far the slowest but the melody is actually really good, and the song comes off as the most heartfelt in the bunch. It does the release well by changing things up a bit and even made its way in to my “Classic Punk Songs” playlist on my ipod.
By the fifth and final track, Not In My Backyard, things pick back up a little in tempo. Nothing too different than 1st and 3rd tracks but it’s a nice little song with a catchy chorus, some whoa-ohing back-up vocals and cool guitar solos.
All in all, Straight. No Chaser burns through all 5 of its tracks in 12 minutes and definitely leaves you wanting more. The release proves without a doubt that Amish Electric Chair know how to do angsty, political punk rock in the way that it’s meant to be done and still sound original. Put these guys on your radar – if this EP is a sign for what’s to come, this band is one you’re going to want to watch out for.