Summer is over, technically. It gave us some new EPs and LPs from a couple of our favorite bands. Here’s 3 that earned a steady repeat on our black mirrors:
One Man Army – She’s an Alarm!
The reformation of One Man Army for me was the most exciting news of the year, everything singer/prime writer Jack Dalrymple touches turns to punk rock gold. The years he spent co-fronting Dead to Me were that band’s best, his one song contribution to the Swingin’ Utters last album was the best track on the album. His first band OMA. have dropped a few classic albums under the punk mainstream’s radar. With the success of Dead to Me a lot of people have been drawn to the OMA’s archival material, giving them a popularity surge after their death. This new EP takes off where ‘Effortless Amnesiac’ left off.
Just like the Utters last album the songs sound more like the Buzzcocks or the Undertones than Cocksparrer or Sham 69. The first track starts off with just guitars and vocals alone before working into a bouncing chorus and a more abrasive verse, Plastique is a straight ahead pogo-pop-punk with well placed hand claps. ‘I Got Hung Up’ is perhaps the most epic and beautiful song on the EP, with the token hopelessly sad lyrics Jack is known for. The song is notable for it’s lack of structure, working in spanish guitar picking and slow down in the bridge. I’m hungry for more new songs, Jack’s writing is a strong as ever. Let’s hope this EP is just the beginning.
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
I had a bet with Mike (our old bassist) that gaslight couldn’t make 4 good albums, it looks like I owe him some money. For me most gaslight albums have 4 or 5 songs I play a billion times; the rest of the songs kind of get forgotten. The first song and lead single is probably the most radio-ready gaslight song to date, while the title track goes right back to a classic gaslight sound. ‘Howl’ returns them to their punk rock roots, sounding like it could of been off their first album. ‘Biloxi Parish’ is a slow power burn with a strong guitar lead.
Though the album has many great lyrical moments, a lot of the words tread on familiar territory. “What makes a man do the things that a man does, to be the very thing he perceives would capture your heart?,” is so typical of Fallon’s writing, almost sounding like it was cut and pasted from previous albums. Overall, ‘Handwritten’ is a winner, no bad songs really.
Her Parents – Physical Release
Her Parents are a new band for me, they’re from England and are built out of members from Internet Forever, Stairs to Korea and Dananananaykroyd. They sound like a mix of post-hardcore (Drive Like Jehu, No Means No) and first wave english punk (the Addicts, the Damned). All of their songs have a pop hook to them while maintaining some aggression. There songs topics range from Nietzsche to tongue and cheek commentary on the open mic scene. The lyrics have some really powerful moments and some really funny moments, it all gets mixed together seemlessly. All in all, this is a fun album and a band to watch out for.