The second album by Buried Cities (once upon a time briefly known as The Revenants) is here, and these Texans are not messing around. The Good Fight (Drunken Ship Records) features twelve tracks of good old-fashioned street-punk with melodies often on the cusp of hardcore with edgy and raspy vocals, not unlike Rancid – particularly Let’s Go and the 2000 S/T – and including the use of multiple lead singers. There are whoas, ahs, and gang vocals aplenty, leaving plenty of opportunities to throw one’s fist in the air in the midst of screaming the lyrics along with the band.
“The Good Fight” takes me back to my younger years of listening to Osker, Agnostic Front, and the Voodoo Glow Skulls, when punk was punk and bands didn’t spend an entire album whining about their ex-girlfriends. And speaking of throwbacks, “Until Now” epitomizes harmonic-simplicity, composed primarily using two chords, making The Ramones sound complex. Surprisingly refreshing. But to prove they aren’t only simpletons; “Level Out” begins with a light-speed guitar riff reminiscent of Cheshire Cat Blink 182 and showing off both musicianship and guitar virtuosity. And “Hold Fast” stays true to its name and is a fast-paced as anything.
The Good Fight is “about life, man,” frontman Dylan said in an interview. “People struggle day in and day out with all kinds of different shit. Every single person has their struggles. There are ups and downs, day in and day out and no matter who you are or what you do, those ups and downs will always be there. And really all you can do about it is fight on and see it for what it is and embrace it.” So there you go; it’s a blue-collar album.
The album’s title track concludes the album and is a Buried Cities-style ballad; the vocals are remain intense and the song is never really mellow, but the overall tempo is slower. In the final seconds the song teases us into thinking things are going to pick up again, after all. But then it ends. It really is a perfect way to wrap The Good Fight up – winding down, but not all the way.
Buried Cities probably would’ve been pretty popular twenty years ago, and I hope they’ll be able to build an audience. Overall, this is a strong release from start to finish, and I’m looking forward to what’s in store for Buried Cities in the years to come.