Reviews Gorilla Biscuits Start Today

Gorilla Biscuits

Start Today

Simply put, Start Today is one of the greatest hardcore records that has ever been written; and there is no way that you can argue against that statement of fact, and if you try, you are not just fooling yourself but also robbing yourself of the experience of hearing one of the most innocent and pure odes to being young, bored, and way too much energy for anyone’s own good that has ever been written in the history of music. These statements are indisputable for reasons that have nothing to do with my personal feelings toward Start Today (I certainly love a bunch of songs of this album and agree that this it is one hundred percent a classic American punk record but it is not like one of my desert island records) but more so with perceptions of the album around the punk and hardcore community that this record is ultimately timeless with little of the preaching that hounds the legacies of the contemporaries of Gorilla Biscuits, but really, all you have to do is pop the record on and recognize just how great Start Today is.

Maybe it is a bit of grandstanding on the part of the band, but the horns that ring in Start Today are the perfect touch to kick off the album before the whole thing just explodes as the band just slams into “New Direction” (that opening chord ring out feels almost like the hardcore version of the closing chord of The Beatles’s “Day In The Life”); without a doubt this song is one of the best hardcore songs ever with its raw verses and melodic moments and maybe one of the best breakdowns of all time and Civ (the vocalist) sounds so pissed off in a naïve and innocently righteous way. Even though there are cultural references that do not really resonate today like “playing Donkey Kong” (in “Stand Still”) and what not, the record still feels timeless, and, besides the dated references, the adolescent sentiments are still completely relevant and poignant. Perhaps the title track is one of my single favorite hardcore songs ever; besides being one of the first hardcore songs that I ever heard (thanks to a mix tape… remember those?) and contains a little bit of everything that makes hardcore great (some melody, some toughness, a harmonica solo and another of the best breakdowns that ever existed), but the lyrics hit home so well (I mean, I am one of the world’s worst procrastinators) and also are so relatable by any teenage kid that ever lived (“Procrastinate / it can wait / I put it off / Let’s start today” and “There’s no time like the present / and I like to hang out / but who doesn’t”). The Gorilla Biscuits drop so many memorable bits throughout this record like the melodicism of “Things We Say” and the manner in which it works so well with the tough, rapid fire delivery of some of the vocals, and the cool guitar sounds in “Competition”, and the just wickedly memorable breakdowns all over the record and check out the bass line in “Time Flies”; the record is just full of great moments (including the cover of "Sitting Round At Home").

Gorilla Biscuits created one great album here through some great songwriting (courtesy of the multi-talented guitarist Walter Schreifels) and some deeply impassioned performances for the recording, and, again, some almost universally relatable lyrics for anyone who is or was ever a teenager; the album still feels very now for kids today while being a huge nostalgia trip for older folks like myself (I remember playing Donkey Kong on my Atari 2600 and in the arcade too and my room was always a mess). Ultimately, these feelings and the timeless nature of Start Today are why this album cannot be disputed as having the title of a classic record.

9.5 / 10Bob
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9.5 / 10

9.5 / 10

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