I love being surprised. That’s the best part of going out to shows—seeing what your local scene has to offer. Punk rock is one of those ever-growing beasts that depend on the little guy to create, create, create—sometimes they move up and out and become a national touring act, sometimes they don’t. But make no mistake, every band you ever loved was a local band before they blossomed into scene-revered artists.
Portland’s Ground Score surprised me with their songwriting talents. Their album Old Theories on Society is a skate punk loveletter packed with big melodies and rousing lyrics. Look no farther than “We’re Still Here,” an anthemic, earnest rallying cry for all the people who’ve survived in the face of life’s tragedies. You could call it Ground Score’s “Bro Hymn,” if you needed a waterline. Other tracks, like “A Thought of You” are minor and atmospheric, without sacrificing the band’s chugging throwback sound. There’s enough subtle diversity here to make for an engaging listen, but the songwriting—Ground Score’s backbone—is an omnipresent highlight.
Old Theories on Society is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be discovered by lovers of sunny, skate-ready punk rock with just a hint of lived-in grime.
Check out: “We’re Still Here,” “A Thought of You,” “Lost in the Unknown”
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