Screeching Weasel‘s Anthem For A New Tomorrow turns 30 this year, so naturally a reissue was in order. The album has been remixed by Mike Kennerty who, in addition playing guitar for the All American Rejects, has produced the last few Weasel LPs. I’ve seen plenty of people online taking exception to this record being “remixed” (and remastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering), which isn’t surprising. It’s a classic 90’s pop-punk record, one of the untouchables of the era. I understand the skepticism, but sometimes change is a good thing.
The sonic difference from the original release is instantly recognizable within the first few seconds of “I’m Gonna Strangle You”. The guitar tone is much cleaner, both the drums and bass are a lot more punchy and Pro Tools-ish, and Ben’s vocals cut through like never before. It almost sounds like they completely re-recorded the album, especially when you hear the keyboards on songs like “Totally”, “Peter Brady”, and “Every Night”. Purists will likely be turned off by the fact that the record has a much more polished feel; the sound is very similar to the band’s last three studio albums. Whether you like the direction they took on this reissue depends on your opinion of modern Screeching Weasel. If you’ve read my review of their latest LP, you know I’m a big fan of the band’s recent output.
Anthem For A New Tomorrow has always been my favorite Weasel album, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t benefit from this face lift. The crunchy guitars and overall muddy sound never bothered me too much, but this high fidelity reissue has given the record new life 30 years after its initial release on Lookout! Records. If you disagree, that’s cool. I get it. The good thing is the original version of the album still exists, so you can continue to listen to that and pretend this one doesn’t exist.
The 30th Anniversary Edition of Anthem For A New Tomorrow is available now on all major streaming platforms. Striped Music is releasing it on vinyl in Europe (the first pressing sold out but a second pressing is coming soon). Recess Records is handling US distribution, but hasn’t launched pre-orders yet. You can also get it on CD here, thanks to Rum Bar Records.
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