Album: Some Concerns Regarding This Revolt
Facing the threat of a sophomore jinx head-on, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.'s favourite new-gen, politi-personal punks, Broadcast Zero, rage with Some Concerns Regarding This Revolt. Yet another original blast of provocative, upbeat and agitated punk, the album is a bastion of rudimentary inspiration (formative Rancid nods clash against primal street-punk, akin to Casualties and genre stalwarts such as Youth Brigade); it’s a unique union of societal concerns and life lessons. While each track is raspy and furious, the quartet nonetheless strikes a keen balance, thanks to the infusion of compelling melodies into its craft, ensuring Some Concerns not only lives up to 2008's Yesterday, You Could Change the World, but surpasses it. With 16 tracks in almost 36 minutes, this can feel a bit long-winded for a band just establishing itself outside of their own county. Yet, with tracks such as opener “Wake Me Up,” “Just Entertainment” and “Personal Overload,” one can hardly blame the overindulgence. Nary a track here is wanting in any capacity; Some Concerns is a powerful sophomore effort from a promising young act.
- Fast Forward Weekly (KC)
This is BROADCAST ZERO’s latest full length. They remind me a lot of KNUCKLEHEAD in their ability to develop a melody that sounds part celtic and part modern. So they borrow from pop punk and traditional oi combining the sounds of TENPOLE TUDOR with contemporary melodic punk to bring an insanely catchy style of hardcore not unlike HOSTAGE LIFE, the REBEL SPELL and the FALLOUT, who are bands that I would love to be compared to for their ability to play a song and say something. BROADCAST ZERO say what they mean and they scream it mean. There is a song on here called “Fear Culture” which reminds me of the essence behind the Michael Moore film “Bowling for Columbine”. It makes me think of culture creep into Canada from the States in an awful way. The song “Our Freedom” reminds me of the FALLOUT’s “Shot Rings Out” in terms of melody. And the band does a cover of MARILYN’s VITAMINS to round this CD out, while borrowing a title from a HOSTAGE LIFE curiously.
- Equalizing X Distort
Broadcast Zero's new album, Some concerns regarding this revolt, comes just a year and a half after their amazing debut album Yesterday you could change the world. These Ontario punks dish out another dose of hard hitting, politically charged, punk rock anthems in 16 tracks. Some concerns has a faster, angrier sound to it, while still retaining Broadcast Zero's particular sound and holding on to their catchy sing-along style. The album focuses on themes of selling-out, betrayal, the media, bigotry, political activism, and more. Fear Culture discusses how the corporate media attempts to keep the populace in a state of constant subduing fear. The fast and loud Nowhere to Go condemns the dead end capitalist system which leads many youth to take up military service out of desperation. Personal Overload talks about the stresses and tribulations of getting by in this fucked up system. The Enemy, slows things down for a crushing polemic about oppression cloaked as freedom. Favourite tracks include Demons, Fear Culture, Battle On, It Dies With You.
- Rebel Youth Magazine
The album I have been listening to lately is one that I have been wanting to listen to for a long time, but so much music that I am interested, or have become interested has come out since its release date that it has been put on the back burner. But lately, I have been back on the hunt for new music and not finding anything of particular interest. Well about two weeks ago Rebel Time Records sent out a tweet seemingly from above about a sale that they were having. Their entire discography was put on sale for 5 dollars a cd (you can still take advantage of this deal until the new year), a price I couldn’t say no to. So I finally decided to do what I had set out to do in September 2010, and purchase a copy of Broadcast Zero’s Some Concerns Regarding This Revolt. Considering the album is over a year old and the band is no longer together, I’m not really sure if what I am about to write is a review or a revisit. The album itself is very good and packed with 16 fast paced punk songs and if you have ever heard Broadcast Zero, the style of the songs does not stray too much from what you might expect from them. There are two major digressions from their norm although. The first, happened right at the time I pressed play, it was the Yellow Ledbetter-esque intro to “Wake me Up.” The change of pace (one that I found very interesting) only lasted 26 seconds and then it broke out into Broadcast Zero’s signature guitar sound that would continue to last for 16 songs with the endurance of a triathlete and speed and explosiveness of a 100 meter sprinter. The second digression is the theme of the album, and I don’t think I could explain it better then the title of the album itself. I found it very interesting. Most of the time punk bands are very steadfast in their beliefs, opinions, and politics. Some concerns….. really calls this practice into question throughout the album with such songs as “On Freedom” where Nick Shrubsole sings from two perspectives where the status quo tells “Tommy Bones” “Tommy you are deaf you see because this revolution will set you free.” Tommy replies “freedom for you ain’t freedom for I because when you speak for me you take away my autonomy.” I can’t really pick any particular favourite tracks as I do really like them all, but “Just Entertainment” really sticks out to me as it references one of my favourites and fellow Rebel Time band The Rebel Spell throughout the song. As I said, the album is very good, and I recommend it to anyone, so go ahead, take a chance, head on over to Rebel Time and pick it up for 5 bucks, you won’t be disappointed.
- !Upstarter Punk Reviews, T.J.
Album: Yesterday, You Could Change The World
Like Youth Brigade on speed, Broadcast Zero are a tight unit, playing no-nonsense Street Punk and Hardcore. Singer Nick Shrubsole has a pair of lungs on him that casts my mind back to hearing Mike Marsden of The Ducky Boys for the first time. Yup, those pipes are about to blow at any given second. The onslaught of Broadcast Zero is rich in the traditions of Punk Rock’s past, but there’s a spirit in here that makes me realize we’ve lost something along the way that this band is eager to put back. Choppy riffs that plough the hooks into your brain with brute force instead of sweetness. Pointing the finger at the outside world whilst maintaining a degree of warmth and affection for the listener, this connected with me on a level I expect from Punk Rock but unfortunately don’t always get.
- Riot 77 (Ireland)
West coast politi-punks the Rebel Spell just met their East coast equivalent. Proof positive that the political opinions most crusty/street punk bands strive to instil in their fans don't go unnoticed, agitated quartet Broadcast Zero blaze forth with their inspired take on the state of the world. Infusing many personal and anecdotal elements into the fold though, they escape the trappings that weigh down their contemporaries, resulting in tunes that are equal parts sincere and informative. More importantly though, the fervour with which Yesterday, You Could Change The World is delivered seems unparalleled. Every track attacks as if it were the last moment these boys will have on the face of the Earth, relegating the aggression acts such as the Casualties or Total Chaos affect somewhat like, well, bullshit. This is the new breed of street-wise punks and their enthusiasm, vigour and dominance are fucking brilliant.
- Exclaim (Keith Carmen)
Every city has at least one band that sounds like these guys. Fast, energetic, sorta poppy. The drumming is tight and fast, the lead vocals are pissed off but still poppy, and the backup vocals are in your face. Definitely mid-90s melodic hardcore not unlike Good Riddance or Lagwagon. Unlike most bands in that genre though, these kids have something to say, which puts them above and beyond all the others. As simplistic and clichéd as this subgenre of punk has become over the years, the lyrics on this album show promise - personal/political songs which go beyond the typical empty sloganeering we're all too sick of by now. Recommended for fans of Rebel Spell, The Fallout, and Good Riddance.
- Talk's Cheap (DI)
'Yesterday, You Could Change The World' is the debut release on Rebel Time Records, and it sets a mighty high benchmark for those that are to follow. Broadcast Zero are classic tofu-and-two-veg punk rock, the kind that creates an instant feeling of comfort and familiarity as it floods into every synapse you possess. Brick-solid riffs, razor-sharp bass, muscle-punching rhythms and vox that demand attention RIGHT FUCKIN' NOW blend effortlessly together. It's a solid no-nonsense balls-out streetpunk n' roll beat. The sound is the perfect foil for the words, the socially-aware-but-don't-forget-the-fun kind of punk intelligence that shows Rancid up for the playschool fakers they are. I'm not dissing the band by saying there's a definite Rancid flavour (ha ha) to the sound - I love that old-school style but I fuckin' hate the whole corporate bollocks that they've bought into, and to hear a band like BZ bring it back to the real punks puts a shit-eating grin on my face. There's not a duff track on this, every one is a classic. If I had to pick a favourite, it would have to be 'My Body'. I've never heard a song that addresses sexual abuse in such an upfront no-bullshit way. 'Self-defence is no offence' is more than just a slogan in BZ's worldview. I challenge any one of you to get through this CD without punching the air lots, contorting your face into a vein-popping diabolic shade of red, hollering along with the band in a brothers-and-sisters-in-arms kinda way and resolving to revolt at every opportunity that crosses your path. OP's opinion: @@@@@.
- Old Punks Never Die
BROADCAST ZERO fall in a long line of bands that marry a message with melodic three chord punk. It's infectious and it's substance oriented. They remind me of a modern day MARILYN's VITAMINS which is to say something like DILLINGER 4. And they keep good company with bands like the FALLOUT and the REBEL SPELL who come from the same school of punk. This is the debut release by this new fledgling label that cut their teeth as part of Insurgence. And it's a dandy for both label and band as a debut release. Fans of HOSTAGE LIFE and BLACK JACKET should check out BROADCAST ZERO for their tales of hardship and disappointment all to a racing pace that has gang chorus sing-a-longs.
- Equalizing X Distort
The music of Broadcast Zero is deceptively simple. You've probably heard its ilk before -- melodic, three-chord punk riffs with machine-gun rat-a-tat percussion and shouted anthemic choruses -- but you haven't heard it done quite like this. There's more going on here than first meets the ear. This Kitchener quartet defies the limitations of their genre, churning out powerful punk that is catchier, smarter and more mature than it has any right to be. Their first album, Yesterday You Could Change the World (hot off the presses last week from Hamilton indie label Rebel Time Records) is as self-assured a debut as you're likely to hear in any genre. The fact that the genre is punk, a field saturated with lacklustre copycats and guitar-bashing hacks, makes Broadcast Zero's achievement doubly wowing. It's tricky to put a finger on what, exactly, sets the album apart from its peers, since at first blush it sounds so faithful to the three-chord angsty archetype. It certainly helps that the production values on Yesterday You Could Change the World are a cut above the typical indie release, capturing both the raw intensity and the intricacies of the songs. It also helps that the members of Broadcast Zero have put some serious thought into the lyrical themes on the album (most notably on the track Same Old Story, a brutally honest assessment of growing up and losing youthful idealism). In interviews, the guys of Broadcast Zero are prone to philosophizing about deconstructionism, social activism and the dangers of moral relativism. With 14 songs unfolding in 27 minutes, the album is packed with a lot of words, most of which are rallying cries for social justice, courage and integrity. Then again, there are also several refreshingly dunderheaded anthems designed to make people mosh -- such as the "love" song Velvet Doll, the lyrics of which are awesomely, unpublishably vulgar. Punk fans will gleefully pump their fists to this record. What's more impressive, though, is that Yesterday You Could Change The World might just bring some new converts to the genre.
- The Record, WITHIN EARSHOT
Album: Born Wrong / Kleins96 Split
What we have here are two hardcore bands from Canada, BORN WRONG on Rebel Time Records from my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario with their debut on vinyl and KLEINS96 from Regina, Saskatchewan on Harvest King Records. Both bands are politically motivated and really pissed off at a lot of thing like religion, war and people’s apathy about things going on in the world today, all cool things to be pissed off about. They both have a tight sound with very little in the way of metal type sounds and some good breakdowns, perfect for having a slam or three. Great screamed vocals that you are able to understand, which is not always possible with modern hardcore, but they do have a bit of an old school feel at times. The production is pretty good, tight enough to fit all the rage in without losing control of the proceedings and clear enough to hear all the different sounds coming at you, but never to pretty to take away the toughness of the bands. I enjoyed both bands quite a bit and would love to hear more from both of them, they seem like they would both put on good shows with a lot of intensity and excitement. The lyrics are on the bandcamp site and it would be a good thing to take a look at them because they are quite good and heartfelt.
- Rick E @ Profane Existence
Album: This Is Not A Victory
With melodic structures and galloping drums, this second full-length from a quartet out of Canada is full-throttle hardcore. Imagine Jawbreaker on crystal meth. Just listening to this will make you sweat. Attacking militarism, American greed and corruption, Cambridge’s sharp, articulate lyrics are rooted in traditional political punk. “Kubark” has a hint of early The Sounds Of Animals Fighting, while “Hole in the Ground” throws in a one of the best guitar solos I’ve heard in a while. Cathartic and inspiring, Cambridge delivers again. Recommended.
– Razor Cake, Kristen K
Quick punk licks and fast beats. Say hello to melody people, Cambridge aren’t afraid to say what they think and stick up for what they believe in. With political overtones draped over every song, Cambridge preaches a little louder than I am able to hear, but that doesn’t mean it ever stops being good tunes, it just means that I’m a stoner with the attention span of a small gerbil. But this gerbil was running on his wheel the whole time that Cambridge’s second full length album was playing. Jesse LeBourdais belts out strong vocals throughout the album with a vast range of highs and lows the have you visualizing the spittle flying across the room. The same could be said for the drums that go from fast to faster. Add some solid bass and speedy guitar action and you’ve got yourself one hell of an album. This Is Not A Victory is some of the band’s finest work to date, and thier hard work paid off getting them signed to Rebel Time Records. Cambridge has been around for over five years now and hopefully they’ll have the energy and the gusto to be around for five more.
- Absolute Underground
These chaps are Canadian. Which is not a bad start.They play a rough-and-ready mix of the more melodic end of hardcore, like a speeded up Jawbreaker, or a furious Hot Water Music, or a slightly more demonic Good Riddance. Save, instead of songs about angst and emo and whatnot, they're suitably indignant about covert torture programs and coporate malfeasance. As one well might be. Don't have to be Canadian to pen such gloriously melodic defiance, but apparently it helps. Apparently this is their second full-length. Good family men (wives and girlfriends are the first on the thanks list), which makes me want to check out their first (and hopefully third) record even more. Though, to be honest, I wouldn't expect anything less from the rather stupendous Rebel Time Records
- Maximumrocknroll #330 (RK)
"Fast, technical, melodic punk rock with a touch of hardcore similar to A Wilhelm Scream with social, political, pissed off lyrics. You can’t really ask for more especially when they took their music to a whole new level on this release. This is their “Needless To Say.” Confused? I’ll explain. Edmonton band Choke released their first two CD’s “Lotion” and “Give‘er” and they were good but when you listen to their third album “Needless To Say” that’s when you realize their full potential. So yeah, “This Is Not A Victory” is to Cambridge as “Needless To Say” is to Choke. Get it?"
- Dying Scene
"Cambridge released their second full length album this summer on Rebel Time Records. The Vancouver bands new release, titled This is Not a Victory, contains ten tracks of fast-paced, melodic, and politically-charged punk rock. Known for their distinct and complex sound, Cambridge carries forward their own brand of fiery hardcore anthems in This is Not a Victory, while assaulting injustice at every turn. The albums lyrics deal with issues such as torture, war, democracy, corporate greed, and the environmental disaster that is the Albertan tar sands. Pretty heavy stuff. Yet, anyone who has seen Cambridge live can attest that they appear to have a hell of a lot of fun railing against such injustices and, hopefully, inspiring action through their chosen medium, and this comes across in their music. This is Not a Victory is a reminder that punk rock and resistance go together, and that the notion that all punk sounds the same is a fallacy which is ridiculous to the extreme. Favourite tracks: Kubark, Neverending Story, Middle of Nowhere."
- Rebel Youth Magazine
THE BRAT ATTACK
Album: Those Who Sow Sorrow, Shall Reap Rage
Out of Winnipeg, Manitoba comes the one-two punch of radicalpolitics and catchy powerful punk courtesy of THE BRAT ATTACK. Bango! Kids, this is it. This is music to energize and inspire you into action. With some razor-throat vocals a la Jake from FiLTH and some tight, high-energy melodic hardcore/punk a la early PROPAGHANDI and GOOD RIDDANCE you have a winning combination that does not miss. This disc is laced with great songs, but I would say the blistering lead number "Spark" and the female-led "Merchants OfBeauty"were among my top favourites. Another home run from Rebel Time Records. Keep your eye on this up and coming Canadian label.
- Amp Magazine (RK)
The Brat Attack's method is a multi-pronged attack: jumping from raucous, straight-up punk, like album opener "Spark," to the D4-style pop punk of "Hey Harper, You Anti-Choice Homophobe...," before breaking into a song like "Prison Slave Labour," which wouldn't sound out of place on mainstream radio. Still, there's enough consistency that the album never loses sight of itself. Politics are hard-worn on sleeves with this group and an album insert thick with lyrics and explanations is the result. Luckily for all though, the Brat Attack never bash you over the head with their beliefs, despite the overtly political content of each song. The politics work best when the band put aside the straight-ahead, angry punk for hooks and melodies on tracks like "Lack of Compassion or Just Ignorance," allowing for the message to come through more clearly and with some substance.
- Exclaim (Ty Trumbull)
Right-on anarcho revolutionary ideas set to slick, accessible pop/skate punk. As THE BRAT ATTACK is from Winnipeg, it behooves me to bring up PROPAGHANDI before mentioning other bands, but some that come to mind are STRIKE ANYWHERE and ANTI-FLAG. Some rad, raging freak-out vocals make brief appearances. Overall, if you want CrimethInk-esque politics in your music, but are more into NOFX than crust, this should be your number one jam.
- Maximumrocknroll (AA)
This is The Brats fourth album, and I don't know how the fuck I missed the other three. This is anthemic rebel noise done right proper! Clearly designed to upset our enemies and fire us up in equal measure, the tracks are a finely-tuned and targeted assault on the stupidity that constitutes the current social order. It's a big target, but The Brats main-line their attack straight into the system's nerve centre. This is music that goes well beyond the meaningless clichés often found in lesser offerings. This mob know it's 2009 not 1979 and, while they're clearly well versed in our history, they're also fully aware of the reality of the struggle today. 'Those Who Sow Sorrow…' is a beautifully angry response to the situation we currently find ourselves in. That's not to say they've forgotten their roots – there are definitely nods to the likes of Aus Rotten and The (English) Subhumans in their approach, but there's also a strong flavour of bang-up-to-date melodic streetpunk underpinning the whole lot. Of course, without the intelligent, witty, and straight-talking lyrics, this would be nothing more than pleasing ear candy à la Rancid, and there's more than enough of that sort of nonsense in the world already. The Brats are clearly not a part of that poseur punk mindset. It's abundantly clear that they're willing to accept the challenge of making punk rock a threat again. The accompanying promo sheet nicely summarises the whole package as 'a hummus-powered, positive & purposeful punk rock radical-left political primer… [that's] even got melody, hooks & a catchy chorus or two!'. This is the sound that fills you with hope as you put a match to the Molotov in your hand and in your head. OP's opinion: @@@@@.
- Old Punks Never Die
Some well-informed hardcore here from Canada’s The Brat Attack. In what may be a collection of recent works, this disc gathers together fourteen tracks recorded over the space of six months. Undoubtedly from the same political (and at times musical) stable as fellow Canucks Propaghandi and earlier the Subhumans, this band are vegan torch-bearers out to put an end to the capitalist agenda of conservative world leaders and call for a leveling of the playing field. Truthfully, The Brat Attack can back themselves up pretty well in the booklet that accompanies this release and their politics are ones of inclusion rather than alienation, which makes a refreshing change from being spoken down to, as if often the case with bands as militant as this. A lot of effort has clearly gone into getting their message across correctly, inspiring and informing instead of aggravating the listener. With plenty of info and food for thought to be found here, the ideas expressed are well thought-out and avoid any dogma.
- Riot 77 (Ireland)
The Brat Attack is a rabble-rousing punk band from Winnipeg who play songs of protest and resistance. Their fourth album “Those Who Sow Sorrow Shall Reap Rage,” is made up of fourteen songs taking on such issues as religion, capitalism, racism, war, and of course our favourite advocate for all of the above; Stephen Harper. The album is a call-to-arms; it’s fuel on the fire, it’s a brick in the hand, a wrench in the gears, and a kick in the ass. It’s inspirations and incendiary. Perfect for fans of Propagandhi, Leftover Crack, Anti-Flag, The Fallout and The Rebel Spell. Favourite tracks include “Spark,” “Hey Harper You Anti-Choice Homophobe Fuck Die Die Die,” “This Police State Causes Urban Genocide,” and “End the Occupation.”
- Rebel Youth Magazine
THE CLASS ASSASSINS
Album: Treason 45
Side A, “Treason” has this underlying reggae beat to the song that reminds me of VERBAL ASSAULT’s “Tiny Giants” partially for the same reggae back beat, but partially because the sound is beefy. Beefy rock reggae from punks. Makes sense coming from punks who are anti-racists. Reaches back to the roots rebel army origins of the band’s appreciation for bands like the RUTS and SLF. The B Side, “Start Again” is more like what I am used to hearing from the CLASS ASSASSINS. Having just recorded a version of this song for our radio show I appreciate the heavy vocal interplay that comes together as gang chants in this song that live somewhere between SHAM 69 and RANCID. The music is more along the lines of the SKIDS with the not so subtle celtic riffing that made BIG COUNTRY a phenomenon. “Start Again” is my favourite of the two numbers and should have been the A-Side, but both songs are great. And it kind of baffles me how this band doesn’t have more people talking about them especially given that the singer was in an early rendition of CHRONIC SUBMISSION and the bassist was in DIRECT ACTION. Thos are two heavyweights as far as Toronto hardcore is concerned and should take nothing away from the others who played in PROBLEM CHILDREN, HOCKEY TEETH, and BOMB SHELTER. All of these bands were great in their own right. And although bringing together that much talent can be risky as is the case with Brazil’s football team, the egos are in check with the CLASS ASSASSINS. In fact I would say that the egos are no existent. These guys just play stripped down back to basics punk with loads of melody and is an example where bringing together this much talent can blow you away. There are a few examples of this like LIMP WRIST and the SWARM and now streetpunk has a role model.
- Equalizing X Distort
There's some good tunes being released of late and this Class Assassins 7" is no different. Sadly there's only two tunes on this release but they are both guitar fuelled tunes that are catchy as fuck! These guys really know how to rock out in style! Hopefully this single should be the lead to a new album being released so please watch this space. 'Treason' is the lead track on this release which is a great rock n roll tune to get those air guitars out and jump about. Timeless number for sure! Not far behind is 'Start Again' another great tune that isn't too far behind tune wise. Its great to see Anti-Fascist bands of this quality banging out some decent music with well written lyrics. You're going to love The Class Assassins – I promise! 8/10
- Street Voice UK
THE CLASS WAR KIDS
Album: Reflection! Rage! Rebellion!
The Class War Kids describe themselves as “a political punk rock band who believe that music can be a force for positive change in our world, and that music should be catchy as shit!.” It’s an accurate way to describe their music which is full of sing along choruses—generally poppy in the vein of Propagandhi. I’m not entirely into the music (and I preferred the first CD to this one), but I’m thankful for bands that present anarchist politics in an accessible way. All too often it’s impossible to pick out the lyrics sung by “political” punk bands, so the Class War Kids are a welcome band. The songs urge folks to take to the streets and fight, with songs about the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver (“Riot 2010”), the water wars in Bolivia, and other such topics. One of the standouts is the anti-sexual assault song “Never Her Fault” that takes an uncompromising attitude (could there be any other?) towards perpetrators of sexual assault.
- Grand Rapids Is Screaming
THE CLASS WAR KIDS play a pop punk charged by hardcore not unlike WEDNESDAY NIGHT HEROES or KNUCKLEHEAD or PROPAGHANDHI or the FALLOUT or HOSTAGE LIFE. The examples in ....Canada.... are boundless. And as you listen to “Reflection! Rage! Rebellion!” the songs bleed one into the next which is an old RAMONES trick. Like a military drill sergeant the momentum runs from the politics of food to security culture to economic cheerleading. And it’s all set to sing-a-long choruses which makes for a soundtrack for your social conscience. Bands like this give me hope. Hope for the scene and hope for a chance at a tomorrow. Keep on keeping on.
- Equalizing X Distort
The Class War Kids from Canada are a heavily politicized bunch of Street Punk miscreants. Musically this reminds me of some of the crossover stuff No Idea has invested in, where Street Punk and Midwestern Hardcore influences don’t seem all that far apart. Both favoursingalongs, screeching guitars and pounding drum rhythms. Layer some hoarse vocals over the top and you’ve got a recipe for some very fine music indeed. The added bonus with The Class War Kids is of course their social conscience. The band shows no inhibitions in laying out is stall and calling out all those they feel responsible for the current state of trans-global relations. What really tips this record in my favour though is simply the kick-ass songs, that remind me of how good the old Punk Rock can be without all the trimmings. The beefy two-guitar attack lays waste to all in it’s path. Well played.
- Riot 77 (Ireland)
I love this band! I want to have their babies and breed an army of punk rock superheroes hell-bent on creating regime-changing anarchy! OK, I know that I don't have the appropriate ladybits required for babymaking but, if I did, my womb would be theirs. These young soul rebels have revolution etched into their genetic make-up. This disc picks up from where the last one left off without simply being more of the same. It keeps all of the energy, urgency and humour that hooked me first time without sounding in the least bit rehashed. You could quite happily play their entire recorded output back to back and enjoy every fist-pumping, life-enhancing, sweat-soaked second of it. I wouldn't be surprised if you then pressed 'repeat' and did it all over again. Even at their most serious, The Kids aren't afraid of making you laugh while they fire you up. When they tackle sexual indoctrination and self-restriction in 'Cherry Poppin' Conservatives', they do it with a literal 'fuck you' attitude, happily asserting that 'it don't matter who's into penis or vagina, if you like 'em both, best of ya!'. The remedy is to 'whip it out, slap it around' while also making sure that Christian Conservatives get their 'ass cherry popped!'. Sounds like one hell of a party. The funnies don't always fit the theme, and that's where the poetry of their message shines through. 'The reason I'm so angry is because I'm so in love, I won't give up but one heart can only bleed so much for a world so fucked up' ('Love & Anger') captures the essence of why we feel so compelled to scream out, and how we're building a future based on love as we kick down the world around us. This whole package brings to life Raoul Vaneigem's lesson that 'people who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth'. In true punk rock style, The Kids spat the corpse out a long time ago. OP's opinion: @@@@@.
- Old Punks Never Die
An apt title for this album from these Newfoundland Punks. Poignant & personal songs set to the tone of straight forward, no frills punk rock. Sounds from the streets that make you want to get up and throw a molotov cocktail at city hall while waving a pride flag & putting a brick through the nearest starbucks. Chock full of sing-along chorus’ and catchy riffs, it is sure to please anyone who digs bands like the Rebel Spell, Broadcast Zero & the plethora of other bands appealing to those with kindred spirits and full of angst. -Pauly HC
- Absolute Underground
Album: A Strong People Need No Leader
Wow! This was my first time hearing this quartet out of Newfoundland and I must say, I was quite impressed. THE CLASS WAR KIDS mixes insightful political lyrics with super-catchy punk tunes. Think ANTI-FLAG, meets THE APERS, meets early PROPAGANDHI, with a touch of melodic street-punk thrown in ala THE BRIGGS. The band is very tight musically - crunchy guitars and rough emotive vocals. There really aren’t any crap songs on this ten-song disc, but “No Shelter,” “Song for the Broken Hearted,” and the inspiring and especially heartfelt “Strike Back” were my faves. This is a very strong CD full of uplifting anthems, which during these fucked up times will help you to keep your head held high as well as your fists. Nice work Kids! Highly recommended.
- Maximumrocknroll Dec 08' (RK)
Who said that political punk has to be dark, serious and depressing? Oh wait - that was me? Well, I take it back. The Class War Kids come from Newfoundland with a highly energetic melodic hardcore sound that you can't help but dance along to. The music makes the highly political lyrical content very easy to digest and understand. This is the perfect band to get young kids involved in politics and DIY punk in general. The CWK sound like early Good Riddance if they were raised on the AK Press catalogue. Highly recommended!
- Talk's Cheap (DI)
When I first heard TCWK I was mightily impressed. Anger, intelligence and humour in music is always to be welcomed. When it is done by such a young bunch of miscreants it’s also heart-warming and inspiring, especially to some of us older punks who can occasionally feel just a bit jaded about the world we’re in. Punching my eardrums and brain with records like this is all I need to break that train of thought and fire me right up again. The Kids are obviously a talented bunch, wringing every last drop of potential out of their instruments to produce an infectious and uplifting noise that brings a big grin to your face. There’s melody, harmony, energy and lots of other ‘y’s aplenty (told you) to keep you hooked from start to end. On the basis of this release, there’s no doubt that this band would leave you in a contented sweaty mess at the end of a live show.And they shine lyrically too. “You’ll never break me” (’Break Me’) defines their starting point, both on the record and politically, a clear message of defiance. Other tunes take a similar line - ‘Song For The Broken Hearted’ reminds us that “They told us when we were younger, we could do anything, now I’m older and I took those words to heart / And I may never finish all the things I’ve started but that doesn’t seem good reason not to start”; ‘Strike Back’ celebrates the power of organising to take back what is rightfully ours, and reminds the enemy that” These are OUR streets, these are OUR lives / You can jail us, you can beat us / But you will NOT defeat us!”; the vulnerabilty of the capitalist system is exposed by the simple observation that “…at the center of it all / It seems like it’s about to fall / We are at the center of it all / I say we have to make it fall” (’Centre Of It All’); and the almost haiku-length ‘We’re Gonna Be Alright’ really doesn’t need much more explanation beyond the title (which is probably why it’s such a short and perfect song). That’s not to say they’re unrealistic about the reality of struggle. “All I see is apathy when what we need is some fucking solidarity” (’Discontented And Apathetic’) makes a plea for the disillusioned to reconnect with their dreams and desires, recognising how easy it can be for any of us to shut ourselves away from the world when hope turns to hopelessness. “It’s a cold night out on the streets again / His pale face frostbitten by the wind / In a city where hearts beat but they don’t feel” (’Sick To Death’), captures the misery of life under capitalism at its most stark, reminding us that we are all victims of the economic and moral poverty it forces upon us. And how ‘they’ maintain their power with their police state is revealed when “All of a sudden you realize these laws were put in place to help maintain their lies / But by then it’s too late…with law in place to aid them in our silence / We’ll be gassed and beaten, and left dead in the street” (’No Shelter’). Though these sentiments may at first seem defeatist, The Kids have cleverly and honestly exposed the reality of the status quo, reminding us that we really do have nothing to lose and a world to gain. The divisive tactics of the ruling elite are tackled head-on in ‘The Racist Policies Of The New World Order’ (”Their sick diversion of patriotism shadowed us in doubt / We only wanted justice, freedom, equality for all”), and ‘Resisting Occupation’ (”South Africa’s model for Apartheid / From Canada’s system it was derived / Native folk couldn’t legally vote until 1960″). Though the sentiments are strongly expressed, these are probably the two weakest songs lyrically on the record. Still not bad though. Ten angry and inspirational songs weighing in just under the half an hour mark for an economic meltdown-friendly price of $5 moose money (plus a bit more for postage for those outside the Canuckian borders) makes this a no-brainer, so get in touch with Randy Rebel Time and grab one before it’s too late and the shelves are bare. Alternatively, for those in the UK and close by, you may want to hold on for a wee while as Bristol Antifa will be soon be stocking Rebel Time (and, fingers crossed, Insurgence) releases. OP’s opinion: @@@@.
- Old Punks Never Die
“The Class War Kids, “A Strong People Need No Leader” pretty well says it all. Fast, fun politically charged sing along punk rock. Yes this band has it all. I really like how they messed a sloppy type of punk rock and kept it still a quite a bit melodic with just a hint of pop. Yes, I really like this band. The record is a straight listen start to finish and I love it. Remember when I said diamond in the rough? Well this band is why I said this. The only thing I don’t like is that the CD is it’s not in a full case. It is in a cardboard sleeve. The art is cool and it does come with an insert with lyrics and the image on the actual CD made me totally laugh but I have always been a sucker for the genuine case plus inserts. Oh well you can’t have everything in life right? Did I mention they are from Newfoundland Canada? No shit eh!”
- Punk Radio Cast
THE REBEL SPELL
Album: (It's a) Beautiful Future
Good, old-fashioned, infectiously enthusiastic, politically charged melodic punk. No surprise that these chaps are Canadian. More early FACE TO FACE than PROPAGANDHI, but the catchy tunes and dead-on political sentiments are all there. And they do justice to the classic LEON ROSSELSON “Diggers Song,” which is never a bad thing.
- MaximumRocknRoll (RK)
This four piece from East Vancouver, BC Canada really surprised me with this release. I have heard their name before, but never heard their music, I’m sorry that this has happened because this is a fantastic album! They come at you from the start with twelve tracks with such power and it just made me take in all the nuances that are here. You get the awesome bass guitar work throughout the album, the fast licks thrown out by the guitarist, the unrelenting pounding of the drummer, and the more surprising things, like the violin on the track “Uncontrollable”, and the keys on “It Can’t Be Just Me” and “The World Turned Upside Down” are all such nice surprises on a punk album, the album even ends with a cover of a peaceful acoustic protest song by LEON ROSSELSON, “The World Turned Upside Down” which was also covered by BILLY BRAGG. The album is just so damn catchy, with some great gang vocals and some great whoa-ohs, but it isn’t wimpy in any way, just a solidly played album and the production is nice and tight, letting everyone get their instruments in and with clarity which makes you want to start singing along with them and playing the air instrument of your choice. This band could become really popular, but not in the obnoxious way, the kind that the cool kids know them and support the shit out of them. You need to get this one and just crank the fuck out of it! I need their older releases now…..damn you!!!!!
- Profance Existence (Rick E.)
Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon once said, describing the rock transaction, that “people pay to see others believe in themselves.” True enough, but sometimes people pay to see others believe in something bigger than themselves, too. Case in point: the Rebel Spell, aka “Vancouver’s best punk band under 50”, whose new album rivals its first, 2003’s Expression in Laymen’s Terms, for vitality. While punk has been done like this before—from the machine-gun delivery of anarcho-communist lyrics to the rolling bass lines and anthemic background “whoas”—it’s seldom been done so sincerely, and you can easily imagine singer Todd Serious pacing and soul-searching to get the words just right. Cynics might think that taking punk seriously is pretty boneheaded at this point, but I for one get chills listening to a song like “Feel the Same” or the cover of radical folkie Leon Rosselson’s “The World Turned Upside Down” (which has also been covered by Billy Bragg). Punk is hardly dead—but not many bands are doing it this well these days. Highly recommended.
-Georgia Straight (Allan MacInnis)
It’s a Beautiful Future is the third full-length album by Vancouver punks The Rebel Spell. The highly anticipated album won’t disappoint fans of the band, which has built an increasingly known and loved name for itself in the punk scene since 2003. The album takes on the threat posed to our future by the capitalist system with its environmental destruction, war, and repression. Its title track explores a futuristic dystopia characterized by oppression, hunger, and environmental apocalypse. “It Can’t Just Be Me” adds a piano to the equation while decrying a world under the watchful eye of big brother. But “Uncontrollable”, a powerful song which introduces a violin to The Rebel Spell’s sound, deals with the unbreakable will of the people to struggle and win against all odds, and “Feel the Same” is a call to action against the injustices perpetrated by the powerful. The last track on the album, “The World Turned Upside Down” talks about the Diggers, English agrarian socialists who were active during the 1600’s before being violently crushed. While it is a cover of an English folk song written in 1643, it can also be seen as a parting rallying cry to turn today’s world, with all its injustices, upside down. These are only a few of the twelve tracks featured on It’s a Beautiful Future, but there’s no filler here. Every one of them has something to say, and says it in the form of powerful, rousing, sing-a-long punk rock. The future may be bleak or beautiful, but what will define it will be the struggle of the people for a better world.
- Rebel Youth Magazine
It’s A Beautiful Future is the latest sarcastically titled album from Vancouver, BC punks the Rebel Spell and it packs a hell of a punch. Carried by a driving rhythm section, It’s A Beautiful Future is nearly unmatched in its enthusiasm and execution. The lyrics are passionately political, but never preachy or pretentious, but if you’re a “the medium is the message” listener, the songwriting is outstanding, making it easy to put the politics in the backseat. It’s A Beautiful Future never stagnates and that’s partly because songs like “Uncontrollable” and “It Can’t Just Be Me,” which feature violin and piano, respectively, work to keep things different and interesting. It’s A Beautiful Future is punk at its most coherent. Whether you’re protesting or skateboarding, or skateboarding to protest, the album is uncompromising and the strongest Canadian punk album since Supporting Caste, which is no small feat for a band that clearly wear Propagandhi’s influence on their sleeves. Our political future may be bleak, but with bands like the Rebel Spell, punk rock’s certainly isn’t.
- Exclaim (Tyler Munro)
“The Rebel Spell - It's a Beautiful Future (2011) [Rebel Time Records] Right from the get go an explosion of punk rock hits your ears. Bad Religion styled vocals and the go for it attitude of the instruments combined with a melodic overtone are a perfect combination and this band pull it off with brilliance. The opening, and title, track screams at you to pay attention. "It Can't Be Just Me" does the same thing however with a powerful drum and bass pounding during the verse it screams 'anthem motherfuckers!!' and it has a lovely piano piece towards the end as well. "All We Want" starts off sounding like a track off an Exploited album, but calms into their own sense of fury for the verse before trailing back to the riff in the chorus. There are massive hints of Against Me! in this band as well, but in my opinion they pull it off better. The song "Uncontrollable" is a particular delight from this 12 track album. Starts off with an almost Russian vibe to it that speaks up with great results before hitting the verse, but the chorus... fucking amazing. The melody of it, the riffs, the beats, utter fucking perfection. Another gem is "Tragedy" with it's lyrics which are truly inspiring to those of us who've come out the other side of self destruction mode. "Murderers" is also a good number and one of the stand outs on the record. "The World Turned Upside Down" while lyrically good, goes on for too long on the acoustic clean section before the rest of the band show up and it needed it earlier, it was great, but needed it earlier! But fuck it, it's an amazing album and I'm not going to dock points for being 40 seconds late on the last track. 10/10 - Greg Chaos
- Dead Cities Fanzine (Scottish Based DIY Anti-Fascist Punk Rock Fanzine)
“The REBEL SPELL are back at it again. This is their third release and whatever it is this band writes it is great. They have the midas touch for punk rock which is hard to do because punk bands can lose their edge or become dull and flat once they discover how to play. Not the REBEL SPELL, they knew how to write a song from the very beginning and have used their passion continues to launch attack after attack at the mess around us. This is another unforgettable release. I have just started listening to this and these songs have a familiarity to them. They certainly express many things I feel like the song “All We Want” which has the chorus “All we want to be is left alone.” That is a daily mantra for me and now I have a tune to sing it along to. So the lyricist has the ability to capture sentiments of our time and like every body of knowledge that has become adopted into history it often comes down to the thinker’s ability to summarize the mood of the time. The facetiousness behind the title track speaks volumes as far as I am concerned. I also want to say that the vocalist has a unique vocal delivery derived on some of my favourite singers. Dan Rudball of OCTOBER CRISIS / BLACK DONNELLYS has always been one of my favourite singers of all time. He doesn’t really sing but he screams a delivery that has non stop momentum and always builds from the last line. I have never heard anyone belt it out until I heard the REBEL SPELL. The difference with the singer from the REBEL SPELL is that there is a hint of melody to the screaming which draws comparisons to bands like BAD RELIGION, but the REBEL SPELL have a lot more grit. The REBEL SPELL lyrics are rooted more in activism and the day-to-day and come off more grounded. There is a lot more words to a REBEL SPELL song which I appreciate because the lyricist has taken the time to really think the subject matter through. The opening lyrics to “M.I.S.S.” calls out the hiding behind intellectualism and I don’t want to mistake this for a call for stupidity. Punk is too cerebral for that and I don’t think that is the point of the song. The REBEL SPELL are for sure. I think the song is really a call to apply thought to actions if you were to boil it down to the essence and I think that is something we can all get behind. There is a song book of calls to action here within and I for one and listening. The music reminds me of early SNFU a bit but it is way more beefy and constantly charging at you. The galloping parts reminds me of pop punk but in REBEL SPELL’s case the body of music fells like it is constantly charging at me. It works well with the thought out lyrics. And the gang chorus seal the deal with a nod to early punk. There is a lot found within this latest release including a violin and a piano that you barely notice unless listening for it. And Billy Bragg has never sounded better with their cover of “The World Turned Upside Down” at the end.”
- Equalizing -x- Distort
“DIY has always been an important part of the punk scene and there is no denying that easy moving mp3s, home recording software, and a bazillion online distribution outlets have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out to the masses. But at some point, an over-saturation occurred; I think all of us have had the experience of glossing through a dozen bands that you couldn’t tell apart if you were listening to them on random.But I also think everyone has had that great experience of the find, the jewel at the bottom of the sifter, that moment when you hear “it”, and “it” being THE sound of punk rock no one can truly put into words. I had that moment when I stumbled upon The Rebel Spell about two years ago. Needless to say I was strongly anticipating their latest album, “Beautiful Future,” the band’s 3rd full-length release. At this time, it looked like Rebel Time Records were revamping their website so I had to order the mp3 download directly from the Rebel Spell website. The site also passed along a really boss PDF of the album art and lyric sheet. As a global comment, “Beautiful Future” is awesomely recorded. Instead of be perfected with spit and polish, it has the raw sound of a bare-bones approach to gear: no crazy effects, perfectly clipped and EQ’d distorted tones, or heightened vocal range. It has live band energy to it, especially in the harmonies, and a fuzzy, deep low end. The louder you play it, the better it gets. The music is a straightforward. Three to four chords and cloud of dust. I don’t have any drummer vocabulary, but she beats the everlasting shit out of them on every song with the same muted, smashing gallops you hear in a lot of the mainstay anarcho-hardcore bands. I read somewhere they had picked up a new bass player, and it was a great pickup, bringing more upside to this release as the bass player is more prominent and distinct than in the other albums. There is Matt Freeman similarity and I mean the Matt Freeman on the first Rancid self-titled of 93’. The band also added a few other new wrinkles. There are some lead vocals by someone other than Todd in the song “Tragedy,” a great dual punch sound. A piano and a violin were also dropped in without a seam. The vocals, both lead and backing, have always been a strong element of their past albums and stay the course in this one. The lyrics come across effortless even with a good deal of gravel in the gut. No cheesy rhyme schemes or clichéd choruses, just a stand-and-deliver approach that’s articulate. The choruses are anthemic goods, and the album is soaked with catchy, delayed call-and-responses that repeat and repeat and repeat with momentum. It’s cathartic. The threads running through the lyrics are identification, angst and ultimately confrontation, beginning with the title song that sarcastically paints a dystopic future. The theme that runs forward from this opening is what I find most interesting about this album. From this despair comes forth a highly positive album about making difference by exposing social injustices and resisting them at every corner. Some songs like “Tragedy” and “Feel the Same” bring out the fight through a straightforward call to arms, while some songs like “Current Occupants” and “The World Turned Upside Down” have a sort of Bad Religion feel by drawing upon irony and keen observation. In the end, it’s an organic album with a free approach to putting out the music and there is no doubting that all four of these members have singing with their hearts stuffed in their mouth and bleeding on the instruments. If you haven’t heard them, check them out. If you’ve heard them and liked them, then you’ll enjoy this one too.”
- A Dying Scene
I was oddly (and sadly) surprised when I was doing my usual rounds on punk news websites the other day and I found that the Rebel Spell was offering their latest album, It’s a Beautiful Future (released in February) as a free download from their Bandcamp page. I think I was both disturbed and disappointed by this. I think it is just my perception of why they were doing it (which could be right or wrong). I just took it as a hint that it wasn't selling, so they were giving it away as an attempt to get it out there. After mulling it over, I decided to take it upon myself to review the album and try to help promote the album, and do it with a sense of urgency that would try (but couldn't even come close) to be comparable to that of the Rebel Spell’s music. By that I mean, the music makes you want to go out and do something, and do it now. Isn't that what the spirit of punk music is about? So I went back and listened to the band's back catalogue and found that that is the best way I can describe the energy of their music: urgent. It is unmatched by anything else I have ever heard. I was reminded of and even listened to Rise Against’s Siren Song of the Counter Culture, which was written with the sense of urgency that the title implies. But even in a Bush-era political climate, they couldn't match the energy produced here by the Rebel Spell. With all this talk of urgency I better get to the point: It’s a Beautiful Future is 12 tracks of full-force political punk rock. A nice surprise is that they experiment with different instruments, with the introduction of “Uncontrollable” played on a violin, and it serves to keep the music fresh and exciting—not that I think that was a problem beforehand. While the album doesn't contain any filler in my opinion, standout tracks include “Beautiful Future”, “Move of Movers”, “Current Occupants” and “The World Turned Upside Down" (which is actually a slower-paced song, but still wields the same type of power as the other songs on the album). On “All We Want”, the lead singer cranks out “All we want is to be left alone.” Well, I am quite sure that he did not mean that to be the case for this album, so do yourself a favour and give It’s a Beautiful Future the “Beautiful Future” it deserves and give it a listen.
These young but well-established veterans of the Canadian punk scene have pulled off a neat trick with their latest release, managing to capture the passion at the heart of our culture and condense it into 12 tracks and 30-something minutes of life-enhancing music. Packed with more energy than a vegan's farts, the band blast their way through the walls of oppression with their sounds of inspiration. There's some pretty clever verbal dissection of the multitude of problems that face people around the world but this only serves to reinforce the common ground - we're all victims of the colonialist mindset of the ruling elites, whether it's done by invading armies or imposed by our own home-grown governments and their all-seeing eyes. The Rebel Spell do a damned fine job of shining a light into the dark shadows of the fortresses of the power-crazed, exposing them for the cockroaches they really are. Their ability to lay bare the fetid corpse of capitalism is only matched by their desire to get us all to connect the dots and stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the common enemy. The inclusion of radical folk singer Leon Rosselson's 'The World Turned Upside Down' at the very end of the disc is a fitting climax to all that precedes it, the band infusing it with their own unique passion. I'd go as far as to say it's destined to become many people's favourite version of this well-loved tune. It's really well-balanced when it comes to the musical foundations, perfectly in keeping with the lyrical finesse laid over the top. The bass player double-picks riffs at a speed that suggests he must have some hummingbird genes in his arms, the guitar and vocals dance with the passion of lifelong lovers, while beats are of the solid and hearty variety needed to pull and hold this potent force together. There's nothing too fancy here, just smart and sharp use of whatever's within arm's and tongue's reach to make a clear and concise point. The Rebel Spell are the essence of political punk rock, and it doesn't hurt to be reminded once in a while what a great smell that is. For people who also like: Dropkick Murphys, The Restarts, the first Propagandhi LP OP's opinion: 4.5/5
- Old Punks Never Die
Ah the Rebel Spell is a new band to me and one band that I'll be looking out for in the future if this album is anything to go by. The twelve songs that can be found on 'Beautiful Future' are highly charged Rock N Roll numbers with an attitude. What's more they aren't predictable either and that's important here as there's far too many bands ready to play it safe. It's fair to say there's not one filler on here but the songs that really grabbed my attention include 'Beautiful Future', 'The World Turned Upside Down', 'Current Occupants' and 'It Can't Just Be Me'. If you love your punk rock with a lot of balls then the Rebel Spell are certainly worthy of a listen. Oh them guitars. I'm in love! 8/10
- Street Voice UK
This is the first new release from the Rebel Spell in a couple of years, and they do not disappoint, right out of the starting gate, the title track is amazing. They return with the upbeat punk, insightful leftist lyrics, and the melody we have come to love them for. The first two tracks are catchier than anything I have heard in a long time, they instantly grab you, both musically and lyrically. “It doesn’t get any safer than 10 million cops, helicopters up high, and police dogs, “ That is a prime example of the lyrical content and cleverness of this record, and one of my favourite lines I have heard in quite a while I must say. The album not only features the wonderful catchy-yet-not-too-poppy punk we have come to expect from the Rebel Spell, but it also features piano being used extensively through “It Can’t Be Just Me” and violin on “Uncontrollable”. The album even ends with a cover of a peaceful acoustic protest song by Leon Rosselson, “The World Turned Upside Down”. It is these subtle changes and nuances that help to keep the Rebel Spell’s sound progressing as they continue to deliver their increasingly important message.
- Absolute Underground
This album was released 2010, but it also could have been released around 1995 on Fat Wreck Chords, because it’s that kind of music. I thought I was done with this genre, well I still listen pretty much to a few of the classic bands, but haven’t been interested in any new bands since around 1999. I have to say that even if they sound much like Face To Face, Strung Out, Good Riddance (the list can be long) is The Rebell Spell a band with own ideas and I really like the melancholic touch in the vocals. This is not “skatepunk”, not at all, so don’t be affraid of that if that’s a term that scares you. This is their second album and the difference isn’t too big, the tracks on the first album was more straight on while it’s more melodies and better composed music on this album. This Canadian band will probably get much positive feedback from Germany where this kind of melodic US HC always is popular.
- Schizo Fanzine
Album: Enemy Of The State
THE ROTTEN have been slugging it out for ten years now and this is their second CD. This is the follow up to “Circus of the Demented” that came out in 2003. The band is self-described as a ’77 style punk band, but it is ’77 style in that BLANKS ’77 way. It is a fusion of punk and hardcore. And with the vocalists gruff sounding vocals they totally remind me of DOA. It is a mid-paced type of hardcore. And the title of this release even seems like a combination of DOA songs “The Enemy” and “Smash the State”. The band has some drinking and fighting songs like “K.W.D.P.”, but they also have songs about unhealthy partying like “No Good at All”. They make good arguments for atheism with songs like “God’s Helping”. And then they express their appreciation for greaser culture with “50’s ....Pontiac....”. It’s all kids counter culture so chalk it up to kindred spirits I suppose. Songs like “Oh’ Dell” and “Human Disaster” are totally pointed commentaries which I love to see. And songs like “Scenewrecker” and “Punk Love” are totally scene specific, which I also like to see because you should write about what you know and if you are immersed in the punk scene you know about shit going down. What I am trying to say is these cats are well rounded and genuine as far as punk bands go. A healthy dose of serious and fun. This will be a long time listening release.
- Equalizing X Distort
It's amazing when an already impressive band step up their attack another notch. Such is the case with Kitchener, ON-based the Rotten on latest effort Enemy Of The State. While the quartet have always unleashed a caustic, old school approach that few bands equal, on these 13 tracks they have truly amplified and refined everything without losing the spirit that has driven their aggressive punk for a decade. Enemy Of The State is crisply recorded and perfectly performed without detracting from the guttural, abrasive spirit and energy the Rotten continue to unleash. Essentially, this collection of incensed yet catchy tunes is a spirited, powerful blast of rage and aggression yet the actual delivery is the perfect balance of live enthusiasm and studio perfection. The result is a cumulative effect of decades-long listens to D.O.A., Zeke, Ramones, Rancid and Exploited — thick with rage yet mature enough to let it unfold patiently.
- Exclaim (Keith Carmen)
From Canada, The Rotten are signed to an offshoot label of Insurgence and though no press info accompanied any of the releases from Rebel Time, its safe to say this band operate within the North American Street Punk circuit. With an emphasis placed on rhythm and pace, The Rotten are well aware they aren’t re-inventing the wheel here, but could care less and keep the focus on the good times. The upsurge in bands like this in the 90’s kicked the sheet right off Punk Rock at a time when it needed it most and brought back a sense of fun to the genre that had almost given way to PC histrionics. The Rotten make their point and share their love of a well-constructed Punk tune with the listener. Sometimes all it takes is a guitar lick and a snarl to bring a smile to my face and The Rotten occupy that slot on the stereo today.
- Riot 77 (Ireland)
On first listen, I was a bit underwhelmed by this offering. But I quickly realised that my mistake was playing this straight after the other two and not giving my brain a chance to reset. Much like wine appreciation, you need to clean your aural palate when enjoying fine music. Suitably refreshed, I hit play again. What a difference a cup of tea makes to your ears. The Rotten may not have quite the same the musical or lyrical prowess of their label breathren, but that doesn't stop 'em expressing themselves in no uncertain terms. The noise is stripped down, punked up and gobbed out in the finest tradition of the old school style. There's a decent dose of street politics and wrong-side-of-the-tracks anger aimed at the 'great and good', as well as tongue-in-cheek humour and the desire to just have fun. And there's nothing wrong with that. The influence of Canuck punk pioneers DOA courses through the veins of these 21st century (angelic) upstarts, underpinning but not overpowering this rough diamond of a record. The Rotten – they're anything but. OP's opinion: @@@@.
- Old Punks Never Die
Album: Rebel Fest Vol. 1
Want a really good Canadian punk compilation filled with progressive and radical leftist songs? Want it for free? You are in luck because the awesome Canadian label, Rebel Time Records, has recently released a burning and critical fifteen song album that has had regular rotation on my phone for months. Rebel Time and their artists always fight the good fight, speak of things that most if not all of the major labels are afraid of, and is run by two awesome dudes. You are not much of a left punk if you don’t at least give these tunes a listen.
My favorites on this album are Broadcast Zero’s On Freedom, The Decay’s Cigarette Burns, and The Rebel Spell’s It Can’t Just Be Me.
- Autonomy Music Reviews