Tag «Red Scare»

Album Review: The All Brights – ‘…Are Wild For The Night!’

Gone are the days that a band’s debut release sounds like it was recorded inside a garbage can (see NOFX’s mid-80’s recording). …Are Wild For The Night!, the debut EP from The All Brights, is now available digitally and on CD from Red Scare Industries. The band is tight, the vocals are on pitch, and the sound quality is so good it’s as if the band members have been here before. And in fact they!; The All Brights consist in part of former members from Good Riddance and the Loved Ones.

As far as punk bands go, though, The All Brights and the hardcore Good Riddance couldn’t resemble each other less. The playful and straight-forward sound of The All Brights is reminiscent of classic recordings by the Descendents, All, and early Bouncing Souls, while they’re lyrics make fun of privileged white beach bums – and themselves – and have earned the band the label “yacht punk.” They don’t want to hear about the Middle-East, Catholic priests, or the CIA; they just want to surf. With songs titles like “Hell on a Surfboard” and “Sunscreen Blues,” The All Brights join in on the long tradition of Southern California musicians singing about themes touched on in Rock and Roll since the days of The Beach Boys.

Throw in some faux-Ravi Shankar sitar at the beginning of “Storm the Beach,” a Weird Al-esque satire of the Bouncing Souls’s “East Coast Fuck You” (The All Brights spell W-E-S-T, and shout the names of Pacific coast cities, just as the Souls did in their East Coast equivalent twenty years ago), and about five seconds worth of the Pennywise Bro Hymn (I swear it’s in there!) and we have six songs and sixteen minutes of good times had by all.

That said, …Are Wild For the Nights! feels like a side project, like something long-time punk rockers decided to put together because they were bored. I always wonder about the staying power of bands like this, whether punk fans (and themselves) will take the band seriously, or if it will be a couple of years of partying on beaches and yachts before moving on to something else.  Where The All Brights go from here will be interesting to see – apparently they’re already working on a second EP. Until then, though, this is a solid debut – rockin’, amusing, and enjoyable to listen to.

3.5 / 5

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Album Review: Derek Grant – “Breakdown”

 

Derek Grant‘s Breakdown is exactly what the title says- it is about the crumbling realities that plague our interpersonal ecosystems. It is the reflections on breakups and the emotions inherit in them. It makes for a great eight-track LP from the multi-instrumentalist who has backed the rest of Alkaline Trio on drums since 2001.

Upbeat sadness is what I like to say about Breakdown. There is a sadness and the period of mourning for many after personal relationships go sour. That dark feeling that barely gets you out of bed in the late afternoon. What Grant has on this album is the next step in the process of moving on. Upbeat sadness.

“Waiting For The End Of The World” is a critique of that feeling of stale relationships. That time when it’s not that you dislike the person, but is there anyway to chew the bear trap off your limb and get away without violence. “Got A Feeling” has my favorite line of the album: “Fight for your life/fight for your love.” Beautiful.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it sounds a bit like Alkaline Trio. Or that Matt Skiba is a shadow in the recording studio, maybe. It does sound like Alkaline Trio, but it’s not as simple as that. You can hear bands that Grant has played with: Face to Face, The Vandals, and, nearly as prominent as Alkaline Trio or The Gaslight Anthem. “Love Is A Bad Dream” knocks you on your ass, because we have all had those dreams. “When I sleep, it makes me want to scream.”

Derek Grant is hurting, but he filters it into themes we can all relate to. This does not dilute his message, but reinforces that those isolating feelings you have creeping into the back of your head are normal. Derek Grant’s Breakdown tells us that it’s okay to hurt, but hurting with a purpose can lead to brighter futures and experiences that renew the soul.

3.5 /5

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