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Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge: “The Power To Consume Ourselves”
These five Texans are no stranger to me since their inception into the punk rock world and they should be no stranger to you as well: the punk rock fan. In addition, you cannot get a better band name than Samuel Caldwell’s Revenge so there should not be any excuses of forgetting this band. The last couple of years, SCR (which I will go by for this review) have been at it strong completing their first full length album “The Power To Consume Ourselves”, recorded at their own Dang! Studios (a studio that has received the attention of many of the elite, such as Joey Cape and Chuck Ragan). And might I add that this album’s sound is very professional for a band doing all of the recording process by themselves. You see more and more bands with a member or two knowing the machines inside and out, and with this knowledge bands can go at their own pace instead of the pricey and hectic schedules that studios offer. In this case, Shaun and Tony made it possible for the others to enjoy a little more beer and sleep.
With this full length you will hear 90’s style skate punk, mixed with melodic hardcore and a touch of metal. If this was in a soup it would be one hell of a spicy soup! So as you see, SCR have a lot of influences and if you need the comparison factor then I’d go with Strung Out and A Wilhelm Scream to make it short. Shaun has that Nuno (A Wilhelm Scream), Jason (Strung Out) and Jack (Rentokill) vocal delivery which borders singing and screaming, the perfect combo for the genre. In terms of sound, with this recording especially, the guys have reminded me how much of an influence the sound of “Exile In Oblivion” is on bands these days. And I don’t blame them since it’s a killer album and somewhat of a distinct sound. I’m not saying that this recording is the exact same as “Exile…” but it’s in the same area I find, and that is a positive thing of course.
From the tracks, you get a vocal influenced and guitar driven album that is non-stop, and not overly produced. “Fight or Flight” starts off the album with the speed, intensity, and those signature vocals. It also contains a “tribute to metal” type solo that makes you want to stand up and rock the air guitar. From the get go you can tell that SCR know what the plan was when heading into the studio; you see a lot of experimenting with sounds on this album. Time well spent in the studio, good times and bad times. They learned a bunch I am sure. A stand out track would be “The Night I Should Have…” due to the driving beat and the “stay in your head” feel good melodic guitars. This would surely get the crowd to take notice, if not already, plus Shaun seems to have taken one less bottle of beer since his vocals are much more melodic and low than his usual delivery. “Time After Time” is the standout track for me with a strong chorus line and sweet sounding back-ups at the end. Again, Shaun has the type of voice that is the definite feature of the songs and his voice by itself is good enough to make the songs stand out. True, other members having back-ups always help bands but in this case Shaun covers everything very well.
All in all, you will get a been-there-done-that feel on the record but SCR have a refreshing sound in the underground and let me tell you that I don’t know too many bands from Texas that rock out to this genre in perfection (Jonestown Tragedy being another). The boys seem ready to take it one step further and I’m sure that many new listeners will come along for the ride. Make sure to also check out SCR’s most recent split with In Bad Taste entitled “Wyld Stallyns”. This is the guys’ first recording since the full length and they stick to the same formula. Can you blame them?