Corroded’s New LP Is Set To Put The Rock Community On “Alert”

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Late this past April, hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest album Defcon Zero.  The  band’s first new album in five years and its fourth full-length studio recording, it is a recording that could very possibly put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it presents a combination of music and lyrics throughout its 11-song, 50-minute run time that challenges even the best of the big names.  The record’s opener, ‘Carry Me My Bones’ clearly supports that statement.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the record’s run, also supports that statement in its own way, too.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is yet another example of what makes Corroded’s latest effort a work that is anything but corroded itself.  Rather, it is another example of what makes the record a solid, strong new offering from one of hard rock’s best kept secrets.  It joins with the previously noted songs and the rest of the album’s offerings to make the record in whole an offering that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a strong and solid return for Corroded. That is especially considering the fact that it is the first record in five years from the Swedish hard rock outfit.  From start to finish, the band presents in this new offering a record that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That statement is supported in part in the album’s opener ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  The song’s musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Dry Kill Logic’s best works.  That is evident as the song starts with a brooding, acoustic arrangement before gradually building into a full-on, guitar-driven assault.  What is really interesting is the heavy buildup to that assault conjures in itself, thoughts of some of Slayer’s best works.  The combination of front man Jens Westin’s vocal delivery and the song’s musical elements throughout the rest of the song maintain that previously noted comparison to Dry Kill Logic.  The whole of that arrangement is only one part of what makes this song stand as an example of Defcon Zero’s impressive nature.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as the song’s musical arrangement in examining what makes it stand out.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones’ is in itself a key part of what makes this song stand out as an example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out. That is because it easily challenges hard rock’s top names from start to finish. Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement in examining its whole.  Westin said in an interview about the album’s lyrics “When it comes to the lyrics, I want everyone to make up their own opinion to what the songs are about.” He went on to compare interpreting the album’s lyrics to comparing a book to its cinematic counterpart.  Keeping that in mind, the lyrical content at the center of this song definitely proves to be interesting.  Westin sings here, “I’ve been awake/For days/On my way to hell/I’m not going to lay down and die before I get there…What you believe is more than you know/Carry me my tired bones/Far away/So far away from secrets/A million miles away/Carry me my tired bones.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I was stuck/In-between/No place and nowhere….” before he and his band mates—Tomas Andersson (guitar), Bjarne Elvsgard (bass) and Per Solang (drums)—reprise the song’s chorus time to finish off the song.  Noting again that Westin leaves the lyrics’ interpretation to listeners’ own thoughts, this critic’s take on the song’s lyrical content is that it comes across as an introspective rumination of someone working through a very difficult time.  That is inferred in the song’s lead verse.  The hell in question is clearly metaphorical.  The subject’s mind has been racing, but that subject is still determined not to give up in whatever difficult situation is presented.  As Westin’s subject sings “carry me my tired bones,” one can interpret that perhaps the song’s subject is saying he or she wants to get away from everything; all of the negatives surrounding him or her.  The song’s second verse continues to infer that same message in this critic’s own interpretation.  It would be interesting to learn the true message in the song’s lyrical content.  That aside, the combination of that seeming message couples quite well with the song’s musical arrangement to make for a song that is a powerful first impression for the band this time out.  It is just the start, too.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another solid addition to the album’s whole.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ is a strong first impression from Corroded on its latest new album.  That is due to the combination of its musical and lyrical content.  The two elements together make the song a clear example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out in whole.  It is just one of the songs that shows what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘A Note To Me’ is another example of what makes the record in whole stand out.  As with the album’s opener, that is due at least in part to its musical arrangement.  The musical arrangement here is a stark contrast to that of ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  It is a deeply emotional, guitar-driven composition that (and some audiences will call this musical heresy) conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman and Nickelback.  Yes, it seems damning.  But the reality is that when one compares this composition to that at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it is actually a good thing that such a comparison can be made.  That is because it shows in its own right the reach of the band’s talent, sounds and influences.  Westin’s vocal delivery throughout even conjures thoughts of Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger through his delivery.  Again, some might see such a comparison as musical heresy of sorts.  The reality once more though, is that it shows the band’s ability to reach into any rock and hard rock sub-genre.  That is a compliment of the highest caliber to the band.  Of course the song’s musical arrangement is only part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘A Note To Me’ is in itself a key component of its overall presentation.  When set against the composition at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it shows even more why Defcon Zero stands out among this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.  The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content, which is just as brooding as its musical arrangement is just as important to discuss as that musical content.  Westin sings here in the song’s lead verse, “This bitter pill I got/It turns out to be hard to swallow/I’d make my head whole/But everything inside feels hollow/I am the haunting of the day that never came/Yeah, what a shame.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The truth hurts that I know/And now it’s out for everyone to see/I’m just a coward/Who hates everything about me/Everything I’ve done was a lie/It’s harder to cry.”  This comes across as someone who is confessing a major hidden truth to someone else.  As the song progresses through its chorus, it can be inferred that the someone in question is obviously someone close to the subject.  What is interesting is that Westin doesn’t point out if that person is male, female, young or old.  That in itself is a really powerful statement.  When one really thinks deeply about this matter, the confession could work in any of those situations.  That is especially the case as Westin sings in the song’s final moments, “My only hope is that you will forgive/And that some day/Some day you will forget.”  Regardless of whether the situation presented here is between friends, family or some other close person, the confession by the song’s subject is powerful.  It is the kind of statement made in similar songs by the aforementioned mainstream friendly acts; the kind of statement that, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, is made even more powerful.  The combination of those two elements makes the song in whole a truly powerful work that once again can rival songs from the bands already noted.  Keeping that in mind, it is one more work included in this record that shows why this record stands out among its counterparts both mainstream and independent.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show what makes Defcon Zero stand out.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is one more example of what makes this record one that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ and ‘A Note To Me’ are both solid examples of what makes Defcon Zero a strong new effort from Corroded.  That is because they show the wide reach of the album’s sound, proving its appeal to metal purists and mainstream rock fans alike.  The songs’ lyrical content adds just as much depth to their whole.  While both songs’ musical and lyrical content serves to make them clear examples of the album’s strength, they are only two examples of that strength.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ just as clearly proves to be another example of said strength.  That is evident first through its adrenaline-fueled, guitar and drum-driven musical arrangement, which mixes elements of Hellyeah, Soil and other similar acts for a whole that will instantly have listeners’ horns in the air.  Its lyrical content will keep listeners just as engaged as Westin seemingly comments on…well…the downfall of a nation.  Being that there is so much turmoil the world over and that Westin and company don’t necessarily point out which nation is being addressed, the commentary could, in reality, apply to the United States, any Middle Eastern Nation or other nation.  There is mention of “seeing the  flames rising,” “bones grinding,” “ashes in the air” and other rather interesting visuals.  This could be a commentary of what could come to any nation if said nation(s) don’t get things in check and soon.  The added mention of “we are the ones who are watching everything from high up above/We are the ones who idle standing by as things burn” adds to the power of that message.  It is almost as if the song’s subject is saying, “we’re going to stand by and let the world destroy itself and this is what we see happening.”  It is a powerful, possible statement.  The power in the song’s musical arrangement expertly captures the energy in that supposed statement, too.  Keeping that in mind, the whole of that musical and lyrical content makes this song clearly one more example of what makes Defcon Zero such a powerful new offering from Corroded.  It is hardly the last song that serves to exemplify what makes this album stand out.  ‘Gun and a Bullet,’ ‘Burn It To The Ground,’ and ‘Vessels of Hate’ each do their own part to show what makes this record stand out, too.  All things considered, the songs noted and not prove Defcon Zero a record that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a powerful return for Corroded.  It is a record that proves audiences’ five-year wait for the band’s next album was well worth it.  What’s more it is a record that is certain to put the rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it is such a strong new effort from start to finish both in regards to its musical arrangements and lyrical content.  All things considered, this record is one that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock albums.  It is available now.  More information on Defcon Zero is available online now along with all of Corroded’s  latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.corroded.se

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/corrodedsweden

Twitter: http://twitter.com/corrodedsweden

 

 

 

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Sonic Syndicate Releases ‘Confessions” Final Single

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Sonic Syndicate has released more new music.

The band released the single ‘Still Believe (ft. Madyx)’ this week.  The song is the third and final single from the band’s 2016 album Confessions.  Audiences can hear the song online now here.

Front man Nathan J. Biggs called working on the song a special experience, adding working with alt pop singer Madyx (a.k.a. Michelle Blanchard) on the song made it even more special.  Blanchard won UMA’s “Best International Music Video” Award in 2016 for her video for ‘Some Kisses.’  The song is also on British Airways’ “Ones To Watch” playlist on each of its flights.

“Working on the song fulfills my ambition of hearing harmonies and alternate leads performed together with a female voice,” Biggs said. “So to get the chance to do this on Confessions was something not only brand new for us, but a big accomplishment, and to do it with such a sparky, talented girl like Madyx who really connected with the lyrics on a personal level made it even more special.  It turned a good song into a unique song that stands out on the record.”

Biggs said the songs make it so unique because of the topic presented within those words.

“The lyrics are about a long distance relationship, a couple reminiscing about their time together on different continents, how the vibe of each city flavored their love for one another,” Biggs said.  “However, as the song goes along we realize it’s not just heartache due to miles apart, the guy is talking to a girl who has passed away and she is replying from beyond the grave.  It’s beautiful, tragic and haunting.  But I think true love can even survive death.”

‘Still Believe’ can be downloaded now via iTunes and streamed online now via Spotify.  Sonic Syndicate will hit the road in March with Amaranthe to support ConfessionsConfessions can be ordered online now direct via Despotz Records’ webstore.  More information on Confessions is available online now along with all of Sonic Syndicate’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sonicsyndicate.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pg.SonicSyndicateBand

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SoSyOfficial

 

 

 

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Sonic Syndicate’s New LP Shows Sometimes Change Can Be A Good Thing

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Next Friday, rock outfit Sonic Syndicate will release its latest full-length studio recording to the world.  The album, Confessions, is a stark departure from the band’s previous albums.  That departure in style was no accident, either.  After facing changes in its lineup and label throughout the past ten years of its life, the former hard rock outfit went on hiatus in 2014 before releasing what would be its last hard rock release in its 2014 self-titled album.  Following its release, the band’s remaining members—Nathan J. Biggs and Robin Sjunneson—re-evaluated the band’s path and ended up taking a decidedly more mainstream approach to this record. The album is a great new start for the band, which also features bassist Michael Barzien as its newest member.  That is due both to the approach taken to the songs’ musical arrangements and their lyrical content as is evidenced in the album’s new single ‘Start a War.’  That will be discussed shortly.  ‘I Like It Rough’ is another example of how the band’s mainstream approach has made this record a solid rebirth for Sonic Syndicate.  That will be discussed later.  ‘Closure,’ the album’s penultimate offering, is one more example of how the approach taken to this record has made the album a great new beginning for Sonic Syndicate.  It is just one example of what makes this new album such a solid new beginning for the band, too.  Each of the nine other songs featured in this record could be cited just as easily in supporting that statement.  All things considered, Confessions gives great hope for Sonic Syndicate in its new life.

Sonic Syndicate’s new album Confessions is a clear departure for the band from the metal material that made up most of its previous recordings.  That is not necessarily a bad thing either.  The change in the band’s sound in this record gives great hope for the band in its new life.  That is evident in part through the album’s latest single ‘Start A War.’  Instead of the metal style sound for which the band had come to be known in the past, this song’s musical arrangement presents a decidedly emo vibe that would fit easily into any mainstream rock radio station’s rotation.  The song’s arrangement is driven largely by Robin Sjunneson’s guitar work.  The call and response approach used in the song’s chorus adds even more to that mainstream emo vibe, and even Biggs’ own vocal approach plays its own part in that vibe.  The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes this song stand out.  Its lyrical content plays its own important part in the song’s overall approach, too.

The musical arrangement that is presented in Confessions is, in itself an important part of the song’s presentation.  It goes a long way toward exhibiting the stark contrast of the band’s previous and current identity.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out in exhibiting that change.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical content in examining the band’s change.  In regards to its lyrical content the song comes across, at least to this critic, as a call to action of sorts.  That is inferred as Biggs sings in the song’s chorus, “I know that you’ve been waiting/For me to start a war/And I know that you feel jaded/Because jaded is what you are/Right now you’re suffocating/It’s time to cut the cord/No need to be feeling jaded/We’re taking back the world.”  The argument is solidified even more as he sings later in the song’s four-minute-plus run time, “You’re on the edge of destiny/A chance to live out what you dream/It’s time to get the message out/And sing it through the streets/This is not a fantasy/A chance  to live out what we dream/It’s time to get the message out/Everyone in every town/Sing it through the streets.”  Biggs comes across here as saying it is up to people to stand up and take action, not wait for others to make something happen.  People need to make their own destiny.  Much as with the song’s musical arrangement, that is a clear departure from the band’s past offerings.  It is an inspiring, uplifting message from which listeners of any age will benefit.  When that positive message is coupled with the song’s easily accessible musical arrangement, the combination of the two elements shows clearly just how much Sonic Syndicate has changed on its new album. What’s more it is a clear example of why that change is a very good thing for the band, too.  Of course the combination of the two elements makes this song just one example of what makes the change in the band’s identity and sound so welcome.  ‘I Like It Rough’ is another example of just how much Sonic Syndicate has changed since the release of its self-titled 2014 album and why that change is a good thing for the band.

‘Start A War’ is a clear example of how much Sonic Syndicate has changed in comparison to its previous offerings.  It is just as much of an example of why that change is a good thing.  That is due to the combination of the album’s musical and lyrical content.  It is just one example of the change in the band’s sound and why that change is a good thing for the band.  ‘I Like It Rough’ serves to support both statements just as much as ‘Start A War.’  It supports both statements–just as with ‘Start A War’—in part through its musical arrangement.  This song’s musical arrangement makes it an instant hit on any mainstream rock radio station thanks to Sjunneson’s driving guitar line. It is an infectious arrangement that, when partnered with Biggs’ vocal approach and the song’s bass and drums, instantly conjures thoughts of Filter, Sick Puppies, and other similar acts.  That alone makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content makes the song stand out just as much as its musical arrangement, too.  So it cannot be ignored here.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘I Like It Rough’ shows in itself another way in which Sonic Syndicate has changed and why that change is a good thing.  The driving, mainstream rock sound of the arrangement makes the song fit just as well on any mainstream rock radio station as songs from the likes of Filter, Sick Puppies, and other acts.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content makes it stand out just as much as its musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content stands out because it is not the typical song about a person pleading for love or even pleading to get back love last.  Instead it takes more of the approach of a dreamer who is head over heels for someone else despite knowing the odds of anything happening romantically are slim to nil.  It really is a road less taken in the bigger picture of songs about relationships.  Yet the subject matter is still material to which so many listeners can relate.  As Biggs sings, “You’re the divine intervention/A miracle of nature/You’re everything that I want/But what I want is gonna be the death of me/You’re looking drop dead fine tonight/There’s no question about it/Don’t know how much I can take before I lose it all/you make me feel like I mean nothing to you/Guess that’s the way I like it.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I could tell from the start/My heart was gonna be your casualty.”  From here, Biggs returns to the song’s chorus once again, with all of the same vocal energy to match the song’s musical punch.  Considering this, the pairing of that musical and vocal energy with the song’s lyrical content is a good match.  It serves to show how infatuated this person is about his/her subject of interest.  On a side note, the fact that the speaker could be male or female makes the song hit even harder.  Both men and women have been in the state presented here.  It makes the song that much easier to relate to for listeners.  That overall accessibility makes the song stand out even more as an example of just how much Sonic Syndicate has changed and why that change is a good thing for the band and its new fans.  Even with this in mind, it still is not the last of the songs featured in Confessions that shows that change and why said change is a good thing. ‘Closure’ comes late in the album’s run.  It is one more song supporting both statements about this record.

‘Start A War’ and ‘I Like It Rough’ are both key compositions included in Confessions.  That is because both songs show in their own way just how much Sonic Syndicate has changed through the combination of their musical and lyrical content.  While both songs are key examples of the band’s positive change, they are not only songs that exhibit said change.  ‘Closure’ is one more example of that change.  ‘Closure’ comes late in the album’s sequencing.  It is the album’s penultimate piece as a matter of fact.  It is just as much of a contrast from the previously noted songs as they are from the band’s previous material.  It is an introspective, semi-acoustic composition that as its own fit in any mainstream rock radio station.  Its musical arrangement is led by Sjunneson’s emotional guitar line and Biggs’ equally moving vocal delivery.  The addition of the string arrangements as support adds even more depth to the song’s overall musical arrangement.  When all of the noted elements are joined together they make the impact of the song’s musical arrangement such that it will reach anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak.  The addition of the song’s lyrical content depends the song even more as Biggs sings about needing that finality in a relationship that has come to its end.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Closure’ makes the song clearly another example of how much Sonic Syndicate has changed and why that change is good for the band and its fans. It shows yet again the range of its members in regards to their musical abilities and tastes.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out of course.  The song’s lyrical content makes the song stand out even more.  That is because of how it addresses the issue of needing finality in a relationship’s end. Most people have been in the position of this song’s subject; that position of wanting to make that break and close that chapter of life.  That is what the song’s subject is singing about here as Biggs sings, “Hey you/Don’t you know this was coming the first time/It’s like God threw us both in the same room/But then pulled the rug beneath my feet/All alone and left me there to bleed/It’s like God stole the air out of this room/You stole my heart/And you beat it black/But I can’t forget/Till I bring you back/I need a little bit of closure now/Something that kept the ghosts out of my head/Cause we’re living in a lonely world/Where no one stops to say, are you okay.”  Biggs’ subject goes on in very similar fashion throughout the remainder of the strong, brooding over his/her lost love.  Simply put the emotional thoughts expressed through Biggs’ words paint a rich picture of someone in a dark place.  It is a place in which many people have been before.  Again, it makes the song that much more accessible for audiences, exhibiting once more why Sonic Syndicate’s change is so welcome both for itself and its fans.  When all of this is combined and set against the elements that make ‘Start A War’ and ‘I Like It Rough’ stand out, it becomes crystal clear just how much Sonic Syndicate has changed and why that change is a good thing.

Sonic Syndicate has shown clearly in its new album Confessions that it has changed quite a bit from the band that it was in its previous albums.  It has gone from a purely metal/hard rock act to an act that could very easily reach far more audiences than ever before.  That is evident in the more mainstream approach presented in each of the featured songs’ arrangements and the equally more accessible lyrical themes.  Whether through the uplifting ‘Start A War,’ the more energetic ‘I Like It Rough,’ which is about a person who is head over heels about someone else despite knowing it will never happen, or for the far more introspective ‘Closure’ it is clear.  The same could be said of any of the album’s other featured compositions, too.  All things considered, Confessions proves in the end to be a solid new start for Sonic Syndicate, and hopefully only the start for the band.  Confessions will be released in stores and online next Friday, October 14th.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Despotz Records’ online store.  More information on Confessions is available online now along with all of Sonic Syndicate’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sonicsyndicate.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SonicSyndicateBand

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sosyofficial

 

 

 

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Junkstars Debuts Video For New Album’s Title Track

Jumkstars has officially declared war on the mainstream music industry.

The Swedish punk trio has fired a new musical salvo against the mainstream with the video for the title track from its most recent full-length studio recording This Means War.  The video features performances from the band from throughout its recent European tour with Backyard Babies.  The video can be viewed online now vie New Fury Media’s official website.

 

Courtesy:  Despotz Records

Courtesy: Despotz Records

 

Front man Max Malmquist discussed the song in a recent interview, noting its connection not to anything political or even social but to the ways of the music industry.  “Actually this song is not about war such as two countries fighting against each other, but a war against the “established” music industry,” he said.  “There are so many bands and artists that consume the majority of airplay on radio and TV and it’s always the same bands.  It’s only the old bands that we never give up listening to or new “promoted” bands that we generally don’t like that get played.  So this song is about all the new bands and artists and their struggle.  The music we really want to hear and see; A music war for new music.  Good music.”

‘This Means War’ is streaming online via Soundcloud.  More information on the band’s new video is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.junkstarsofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/junkstarsofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thejunkstars

 

 

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Junkstars’ Latest LP Is A Win For Punk Purists Everywhere

Courtesy:  Despotz Records

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Sweden is one of the richest nations in the world in terms of its musical culture.  Originally known for bringing ABBA to the world so many decades ago, a lot has changed for the northern European nation since then.  Now it is known as one of the world’s major centers for “extreme metal.”  Bands such as In Flames, Amon Amarth, Meshuggah, Soilwork, and others have and continue to call Sweden home.  Dark prog-metal acts such as Leprous, Evergrey, and Opeth among others also call Sweden home.  And of course there is also the far more extreme black metal bands such as Ghost, Marduk, Naglfar, etc.  Considering the broad spectrum of metal that Sweden has to offer the world one would think that other than save for ABBA, metal seems to be the only music that Sweden has to offer.  Enter Junkstars.  The Stockholm , Sweden-based trio is one of a handful of acts that is trying to change the musical culture and reputation of its home state.  With two albums already under its collective belt since 2012 the band has already made quite the impact on audiences; audiences not just in its home country but around the world.  It added to that impact late in 2015 with the release of its third full-length studio recording This Means War.  Considering the album’s overall sound and its lyrical themes one can only assume that the album’s title is a direct statement about its mission of change.  It might not be.  That is just this critic’s own take on the album’s title.  Regardless of whether or not this was the aim with the album’s title, its overall presentation presents a band that (to this critic) has clearly declared war on that reputation established by all of those other Swedish bands.  And if the band’s latest album is any indication Junkstars is definitely winning that war.

Junkstars’ new album This Means War is an explosive salvo from the Stockholm , Sweden-based punk rock trio.  This is regardless of whether or not the title of the band’s new album is meant to be a statement about the band’s identity among all of Sweden ’s various metal acts.  The album’s opener ‘’Kill the Ravens’ is just one song that exemplifies this argument.  The song is a no-nonsense composition into which the band wastes no time launching with its pure punk rock sound.   That sound in question is one that fans of Rancid, Social Distortion, The Distillers, and others of that ilk will appreciate.  It is just part of what makes this song stand out in the bigger picture of the album’s presentation.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note.  The song’s lyrical content comes across as a social commentary of sorts.  That can be inferred as front man Max Malmquist sings, “Raise your walls and seal your fate/Either way it’s all too late/You have it all/You have control/But deep inside/You’re weak and small/All alone within your gates/Filled by greed/And fed by hate/You have it all/You have control/You’ve isolated your on souls.”  The song’s lead verse, it comes across as a damning indictment of the world’s elitists and their associated collective mindsets.  The song’s second verse plays even more into that theme as Malmquist sings defiantly, “The time has come for you to pay/Cause we can’t stand it one more day/With strength in numbers we’ll prevail/We’re organized and we won’t fail/We’ll burst right through your city walls/And occupy your royal halls/You had it all/You had control/But now your empire shall fall.”  One can almost see Malmquist and his band mates—Tobbe Ljungqvist (bass, vocals) and Mathias Wanneberg (drums)—pumping their fists along with their audiences as they sing these lines.  It plays into the band’s statement about the aim of the songs to address the world’s ugliness. It also echoes just one of the familiar themes presented in so many classic punk anthems that have come before.  Keeping all of this in mind it serves to show why ‘Kill The Ravens’ is just one example of what makes This Means War a standout pure punk album.  ‘Snakebites’ is another example of what makes this record stand out in the punk rock field.

‘Kill The Ravens’ is a key example of what makes Junkstars’ new album This Means War stand out among 2015’s vast sea of punk offerings.  It is just one example of what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘Snakebites’ is another of the album’s key compositions.  The Rancid influence noted before is front and center in this song in regards to its musical arrangement.  From the song’s driving tempo, established by Mathias Wannenberg to Malmquist’s equally up-tempo guitar line and Ljungqvist’s low end, the song’s musical arrangement will impress any punk purist.  The same can be said of Malmquist’s own vocal delivery.  His gravelly delivery is just as similar to that of Rancid’s own front man Tim Armstrong.  That’s just half of what makes this song stand out in the grand scheme of the album’s musical picture.  The seeming social commentary exhibited in the song’s lyrical content makes the song stand out even more.  That can be argued as Malmquist sings here, “A thousand years of ignorance/A lifetime of decay/Despite a million warnings/We face ourselves today/Bring your friends/Listen up/It’s already too late/Gather a militia and resurrect our fate/Our actions led to this/Therefore stand your ground today/Get it straight/Gear up/Don’t look the other way.”  Malmquist comes across here as saying that mankind has put itself in its current position “despite a million warnings.”  And because of what mankind has done throughout the eons there’s no turning back.  Man must stand up and take the chance to make things right.  That can be argued even more as he sings in the song’s chorus with his band mates, “Snakebites (snakebites) coming our way/Blood stains (and shattered brains) all over the place/We won’t (no, we won’t) become their prey/Snakebites (snakebites)/It’s Judgment Day.”  It’s a straight forward message.  And the fact that it is delivered so clearly in such a small space of time (the song’s run time comes in just under three minutes) is even more impressive.  Malmquist didn’t try to get verbacious with the message.  He got right to the point and made it relatively accessible for listeners.  The song’s driving musical arrangement added to that, the whole of the song shows why it is another key addition to the album.  It is still not the last of the album’s prime compositions, either.  ‘Old Man’s Dead House’ is one more of the album’s key moments.

‘Kill The Ravens’ and ‘Snakebites’ are both key examples of what makes Junkstars’ new album This Means War stand out in the punk rock community.  That is thanks to both their musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  The same applies to ‘Old Man’s Dead House.’  This song, seemingly about youthful rebellion, is another of the album’s key compositions.  Listening to this song, audiences will again note its musical arrangement.  That arrangement borders on pop punk.  But still maintains its pure punk identity even with its catchy, radio ready sound.  That balance of pure punk and radio friendly rock is just one portion of what makes this song stand out.  The song’s anecdote about an old man’s house (the forbidden zone so to speak) and the urge to defy that authority is just as important to the song as its musical foundation.  Malmquist sings in this song, “In the town where I was born/Was a house that nobody wants to be in/It was dark/It was cold/And we couldn’t stand the feeling/To get in and explore/To see what’s going on/What’s behind of the door/Let’s take it to the floor/They all told us not to go/And we didn’t have the rights to/But who cares what you get told/When you’re young and want that feeling.”  That is as clear as a song can get in its message.  It isn’t so much about the house as it is about that coming of age through which everyone goes.  In this case that coming of age was attributed at least in part to exploring a creepy old house that was off limits.  Part of growing up for anyone is testing one’s boundaries and defying authority at least to a point.  That Malmquist and company would base that coming of age story in such fashion makes that coming of age message all the more entertaining.  The combination of the wonderfully told tale and the song’s equally infectious musical foundation makes even clearer why this song is another of This Means War’s key compositions.  Together with the other noted songs and those not noted here, all nine songs join together to make This Is War an album that is winning the war against the watered down, radio ready, bubble gum pop punk that is currently polluting the world’s airwaves.

Junkstars’ new album This Means War is a win in the musical war against all of the watered down, radio ready, bubble gum pop punk that is currently polluting the world’s airwaves.  This is clear from the album’s beginning to its end.  From the seemingly damning indictment of the world’s elitists in the album’s opener ‘Kill The Ravens’ to the alleged social commentary of ‘Snakebites’ to the catchy coming of age story within ‘Old Man’s Dead House’ this record presents plenty for punk purists to appreciate.  That includes not just those songs but the rest of the compositions not noted here.  All things considered This Is War shows in the long run to be another win in the musical war against all of the watered down, radio ready, bubble gum pop punk that is currently polluting the world’s airwaves.  It is a record that every punk purist will want to hear and should hear at least once if not more.  It can be ordered now in a variety of bundle packs via Junkstars’ online store at http://despotz.bigcartel.com/artist/junkstars.  More information on the band’s album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

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