Reviews Good Riddance Peace In Our Time

Good Riddance

Peace In Our Time

Peace in Our Time is an album that seemed like it was never going to be released. Good Riddance's breakup in 2007 appeared to be final. Younger listeners such as myself, who discovered the band around this time, had to come to terms with never hearing new music from the band nor having the opportunity to see them perform live. Russ stated in interviews that a reunion was not going to happen. I pacified my desire with intimate listening of Good Riddance's back catalog, marveling at the way in which a melodic, sometimes poppy Fat Wreck band could retain such a jagged political edge and convincingly channel the sound of our 1980s hardcore forefathers. Good Riddance was the perfect blend between melody and aggression, the lyrics similarly walking the fence between the personal and the political. I envied my older brother's generation, who saw the band play and listened to the records as they were released. Good Riddance's subsequent reunion and announcement of a new album was a big surprise, and I'm willing to forgive the band for playing with my heart, because Peace in Our Time delivers exactly what longtime Good Riddance fans have been hoping for.

Chuck Platt's trademark chugging bass kicks off the opening track, "Disputatio," and it becomes immediately clear that the band has not softened during their lengthy hibernation. Things get going fast from the start. Luke Pabich's guitars blaze to the rapid rhythm Sean Seller's drums, and Russ's vocal delivery is authoritative and sincere. Although Russ' voice no longer possesses the youthful abrasiveness he achieved on albums like Operation Phoenix, he sounds as or even more aggressive than he did on My Republic. You could say his voice has matured, but this does not dull his razor sharp vocal approach. The lyrics are clear and as issue-oriented as ever. In fact, Peace in Our Time doesn't include the usual love songs which Good Riddance has included on their past releases. Fans of the faster, politically charged material of the band will be pleased.

There are a few slower, mellower tracks on Peace In Our Time. "Grace And Virtue" and "Washed Away" strategically break up the generally fast-paced album. Both are solid tracks which give the album diversity and dynamism. Hovering around the two minute mark, neither track overstays its welcome. "Glory Glory" is another track which offers up the softer side of Good Riddance, and is a fitting closer to the album. It's basically a 1:40 long ballad, progressing in intensity throughout, and an example of some really interesting composition. There are some really cool vocal harmonies and surf-inspired guitar leads on "Glory Glory," and the track definitely showcases the band's ability to innovate while staying within the parameters of their trademark sound.

"Dry Season" offers another glimpse of the experimental side of the band, particularly during the aggressive vocal harmonies towards the end of the track. It sounds incredibly heavy, and is reminiscent of some of Russ' work with Only Crime. "Teachable Moments" is another standout track, revisiting the lyrical themes of "Cheyenne" from Symptoms of a Leveling Spirit. Russ once again proves to be one of the most articulate songwriters in punk rock.

Fans of Good Riddance will find Peace in Our Time to be a welcome addition to the band's discography. There is enough variation and exploration to keep things interesting without straying too far from the band's signature sound. Peace in Our Time is as good of a comeback as we could have expected.

8.0 / 10Stepan
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