Considering how much Ive heard about the Naked Raygun reunion, youd think there would be more buzz regarding The Bomb. Speed is Everything is the Jeff Pezzati led groups first release for No Idea Records. When compared with Pezzatis more renowned group, I was expecting a more contemporary twist. Instead, The Bomb has a strong 80's feel to it, with dark guitars reminiscent of the more moody new wave bands. Superseding that, however, is the strong drive of melodic punk.
The Rescue may exemplify the bands sound best. It features a steady, prominent rhythm, with haunting guitars laying over them as Pezzati sings, Then I come to your rescue in a tuneful call. As the song progresses, the volume increases and the tempo steadily increases into a melodic punk number with a personal feel to the vocals that is easy to sing along to. While the structure is more complicated than your average genre fare, the song just never really gets that interesting beyond the melody. At its core elements, it succeeds, but it never really gets off the ground to fully energize the listener.
Songs such as Spaceman and Blown Away relay the energy much more effectively with less repetition and less reliance on oh-ohs to convey the melody. The band does mix things up, with some nice screaming in Integrity that emphasizes the point without beating you over the head, and the pace shifting Song for the Helenas, which is has a strong 80's feel to it that somewhat blunts the rising flow of the record.
Pezzatis voice is definitely the albums highpoint, with his ability to deliver a forceful melody without interrupting the flow of the songs. Unfortunately, nothing else strikes me much about this release. After a slow start, Speed Is Everything finishes strong, but not strong enough to win me over. Despite its shortcomings, this is the kind of music that birthed the term melodic hardcore and when it succeeds, it blows away most bands carrying that torch today.
6.8 / 10
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