In The Trenches
, the debut LP from Bay Area punkers Static Thought
, follows all the rules set down by punk's founding fathers. Gruff vocals are yelled over hyperactive bass lines, classic punk beats, and duelling guitars covering both chord changes reminiscent of The Casualties and lead guitar licks that owe their style to Iggy and the Stooges. The album starts off strong and stays that way, recalling the sound of punk's infancy that makes Static Thought's style old, yet refreshing. In true Hellcat Records fashion, the sixth track, a leather clad battle hymn entitled Choice Through Struggle, features guest vocals from Lars Frederiksen. Other key tracks like the opener, Drug of My Mind, and Social Unrest, give you a pretty good idea of what these guys are all about, and the "fuck authority" mood of the CD is dominant throughout the album, for better or for worse. Sure, In The Trenches is exactly what punk was first supposed to sound like, making energetic, angry music that allows the listener to get out their deep seated anarchist rage, but it is also just as formulated as punk always has been, with the very things you found so novel in the first four tracks becoming tired by the end of the album. Still, this does not necessarily have to be a downside to the album. This kind of composition isn't necessarily bad, it's simply punk. At the end of the album's closer, Next to You, the listener has had the full punk experience, and that's just what the band intended. This is a definite must if you're an active fan of today's punk scene, and a worthy addition if you're a casual fan in need of something new to mosh to.
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