Go To Prison is one of the best ‘hardcore punk’ albums I’ve heard in a while, which is very impressive considering it’s PEARS‘ first full-length effort. It may only be 20-ish minutes long with a 10-song tracklist, but the New Orleans 4-piece manages to pack a whole lot of awesome shit into that 20 minutes.
As one might expect, all the songs have a very angry feel. But there also seems to be a lot of attention payed to melodicism, especially on songs like “Victim To Be,” “Breakfast,” and obviously the cover of the Ramones’ classic “Judy Is A Punk.” Tracks like these show that vocalist Zach Quinn, who yells on a majority of the songs, isn’t afraid to ‘sing’ in a more traditional sense, and that’s nice to see coming from a band on the ‘hardcore’ side of the spectrum.
PEARS’ melodic sensibility isn’t the only thing that sets them apart from many other modern hardcore punk bands, though. They actually know how to play their instruments, and they play them very well – all of the instrumental work on Go To Prison is on point. The extremely high production value on the record also leads me to believe the band knows an engineer who actually knows what he’s doing. It’s easily one of the most well-produced debut albums I’ve ever heard.
One review on the Bandcamp page for Go To Prison dubbed the record “the best and most exciting punk rock album I’ve heard in a long time!” and I strongly agree with that statement. Though it’s not a groundbreaking record (let’s face it, there’s not much ground left to break when it comes to punk rock), Go To Prison is a very strong debut full-length effort and it successfully delivers 20 minutes of non-stop, balls-to-the-wall punk rock akin to a sonic kick in the teeth.