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Album review: Twenty2 “Nice Knowin’ Ya”

After a decade long hiatus, Montreal’s Twenty2 are back with a new EP Nice Knowin’ Ya. Picking up where they left off, 2006’s Defective, this album is full of emo-tinged pop punk delivered with a familiar angsty sneer and melodic rage.

Nice Knowin’ Ya blasts out of the gates with “Intro(vert)”, a sub-minute explosion of frenzied guitars and intense anger. “I don’t care if you don’t get it, it’s ok if we have to end it here and now, because I have no time and alone I’m just fine” Jon yells with a sense of defiance.

Like the inevitable sense of quiet dread sets in after an explosion, the emotional side of this album kicks in after the first song. Perhaps showcasing that “alone I’m just fine” is not entirely accurate. “Won’t Hate” has distinct change of energy, stepping down the rage and giving it a melancholic feel. “I’ll never be the same without you, I know I’m better off without you, I will turn around and leave you behind” is delivered in a way that is difficult to figure out if he is talking to someone else, or attempting to convince himself. This self doubt is layered over a driving rhythm and soaring vocal melodies.

“Radio Mind” continues the punchy instrumentation and soaring melodies found throughout this album, but also double-downs on the emotional response to “Intro(vert)”. “I haven’t been here long enough, I hate to look back but it’s tough to move on” opens the song “Can’t Hold on, Can’t Let Go” who’s title alone suggests that there is a distinct sense of regret involved in the situation this album is presenting.

There are a couple of stand out tracks featuring guests. The first one being Stephen Egerton from the Descendents on “I’d Rather Die”. This song puts the anger back on display and the guitar work has a more frenzied feel. When Jon’s vocals come back in after the guitar solo there is such anger and resentment, it’s a palpable chill-inducing moment. This song definitely explores the angrily-accepted side of the emotional spectrum on display in this album.

The other guest track features Al Nolan from Canadian punk band Almighty Trigger Happy. The last and titular track “Nice Knowin’ Ya” is the perfect example of a band creating highs and lows in the exploration of emotions. The guitars are aggressive and in your face, the drums explode and make you feel every hit, the bass line driving and complementary, all of which on fire with angst but then drop off so quickly in the breakdown it’s a free fall of energy that ends with a primordial scream. The call and answer vocals, as well as the harmonies are executed perfectly. “Fuck you and everything you want from me. Got no time for anything but my need, I gave you even my own sanity, what’s left is just for me.” screamed on the verge of a breakdown shows that “Alone I’m just fine” was definitely not true.

Nice Knowin’ Ya leaves a little to be desired, I wish there were more songs like the title track and “I’d Rather Die” as some of the other songs start to blur with similarity. However this album shines because of the honest lyrical look at the feelings we all experience after an emotional fallout. The rage-fueled things we say, in a sub-one minute song, versus the depth of the feelings we experience afterwards, in five songs across fourteen minutes.

3.5/5 Stars

Twenty2 (punk) announce new album and release video for new song “Won’t Hate”

Bust out the bacon and side-by-each eggs because Quebec punk veterans Twenty2 have reemerged from a ten-year hiatus to announce a new EP. Nice Knowin’ Ya will be released October 19th on New School Records

. The band has released a video for the song “Won’t Hate off of the upcoming album.

You can check out the video for the new song below.

As mentioned above, this is the first new release for Twenty2 in ten years, and if the first track is any sign of what’s to come on the rest of the album, we are in for a treat. 

Vans announces free summer shows in NYC featuring OFF!, Lemuria, many more

Legendary footware/clothing company Vans has a pretty cool series of events planned at the Brooklyn, NY, House of Vans this summer. It seems they’ll be throwing a handful of free (that’s right, free!), all ages house parties featuring some pretty great bands like OFF!, Lemuria, Ceremony and a bunch more.

Full lineups are still being set, but click here for the lowdown so far. We’ll keep you posted on any updates.

The Willkills streaming new demo song “10 Years Down”

Salt Lake City’s, The Willkills, have been pretty quiet for sometime but seemingly out of nowhere they appear to be recording new music as evidenced by the new demo song titled 10 Years Down on their MySpace page.  No word yet on what this means for the band in terms of a new release but we’ll keep you posted as details surface.

The Willkills last release was their full-length Rough Times Ahead put out on Old Shoe Records in 2008.

Makeshift3 video interview from back in the day

Man, these dudes have been around for a while!  I guess Makeshift3 have been diggin’ in the archives and came across this interview from 2001 at Active Ride Shop in Irvine, CA.  Also, in between interviewing, you can see the video for their song King Of Kings from their 1999 release Fuel For Life.  Check the video here.

Makeshift3’s last record, Fluorescent Black, came out in 2005 on New School Records.