I like punk rock. A lot. I listen to some punk bands that are far from extraordinary, who play contrived music, but make it fun (both for them and the listener). I am no expert on the scene; I've been involved with punk since I was 8, but I've always got more to learn.
That being said, this is one of the most atrocious albums my ears have ever had the displeasure of being subjected to. This ranks up there with shit by The Murderdolls, Mudvayne, and Limp Bizkit. Only this is punk rock! Fast, catchy, angry punk rock! I should like this, yet I find myself inexplicably bored by every aspect of it.
The opening song, "On The Other Side," was pretty good. I liked it. I like how The Unseen takes street punk, a static genre, and adds aggressive vocal melodies reminscent of some of the bands out of the Boston scene. (They're from Boston, so that's no big surprise.) The production on the album is unusually good for a Hellcat band, seeing as the label usually specializes in "dirty punk," so I was impressed with that as well.
But by the time "Scream Out" gets to the chorus, I have this sinking feeling I've heard this song before. Early Anti-Flag? Capitalist Casualties? A little Aus-Rotten? I couldn't quite put my finger on it, so I kept listening.
By the time "The End is Near" and "Weapons of Mass Deception" came to their end, I realized why these songs all sounded like something else; every song on this album sounds like the others.
See, the vocalist, Mark, does this thing in every chorus where he combines a sort of scream/shout with band gang vocals. And I do mean every single chorus. I listened to this CD, from start to finish, about 5-6 times. I cannot, for the life of me, distinguish one song from the next. I listen to Death Metal for God's sake. That all sounds the same, so I'm certainly trained in picking out subtle differences.
But I can't find them in this album, so it bores me to death. Like I said, it has great production and personifies the "Fuck You!" subversity of punk rock, which I love, but, it's just so boring!
I give this a 2.5 because the band tried. I'd give them a 5, but I docked two and a half points for the songs, "Hit and Run" and "Paint It Black." "Hit and Run" has the worst lyrics I've read in a punk song in a long time. It's nice that you want to dedicate a song to an injustice you felt needed attention, but don't ruin the affect with terribly infantile rhyme structures and content. "Paint It Black" has been covered more times than a cadaver on the freeway; choose something more original.
2.5 / 10
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