The Shell Corporation - A Force Majeure

The Shell Corporation

A Force Majeure

Released: Aug 25th 2011

Genre: Punk Rock

Label: Death To False Hope

Rating: 7/10

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By Chris Fishlock

Although not pushing many boundaries with A Force Majeure, The Shell Corporation have made a fine record of a well written, catchy and addictive songs that rewards you with repeat listens. Despite clearly having some anti-corporate themes on the album many of the songs are quite hypocritically commercial punk sounding which is by no means a negative thing and makes them a great gateway band for the young possible future punk rock fans, the band don’t hold back their themes lyrically but the band don’t hold much of a aggressive sound for how much anger the songs do possess, with the right amount of popularity the band could lead those new to punk rock to more aggressive and less commercial sounding bands.

The album’s sound perfectly fits into the Californian punk rock scene with a sound somewhere between Goldfinger’s more pop punk records and Anti-Flag (who are also comparable lyrically). Unlike many punk rock records from bands of this style A Force Majeure does cover a decent amount of change in pace and style from the usual fast paced pop punk tracks, such as the slower “Broken Hearted Loser” featuring just vocals and guitar, and the acoustic start to “All of the Best” making the album a more interesting listen than the many albums these days of generic 12 tracks sounding all exactly the same.

A Force Majeure has enough commercial merit for the band to go far while also maintaining their own mentalities throughout the lyrical themes to keep them true to punk. An enjoyable gateway album that perhaps lacks the aggression that some of their songs are clearly calling for, and although not having an incredibly original sound the album does expand its sound in terms of tempo and heaviness while also including some perfectly catchy pop punk tunes such as “What If?” and “Fuck ‘Em” that leaving you wanting repeat listens.

The Shell Corporation – Fuck ‘Em

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Drones Mutiny

Drones

Mutiny

Released: Dec 5th 2011

Genre: Punk

Label: Lockjaw records

Rating: 3/5

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By: Chris Fishlock

Young UK punk band Drones hail from Camberley in Surrey and recently signed to Lockjaw records. Their debut album ‘Mutiny’ is a fast paced record of short high tempo shouting punk songs that never give up or give a chance for even a breath. The album is at a short 25 minutes yet fits in 11 tracks, only one of which is over 3 minutes long. This fast and loud record is certainly not for anyone who can’t take their punk rock at full volume and speed.

Lead vocalist and guitar player Daly George leads us through the tracks with his unique voice, which may put some listeners off but you soon get used to it and the rawness of the vocals really fit into the punk sound of the band. The rest of Drones equally help the awesome punk racket with the fast bass playing of James Kerr, while Mitchell Thomas pounds the drums with a great deal of aggression, as well as both giving backing vocals.

‘Mutiny’ has a fantastic rawness that reminds you of what punk is about, the band’s simple set up and fast aggressive playing mixed with their political lyrics help make this one of the truest punk rock debuts this year, that also keeps the spirit and energy of Drones’ powerful and in your face live performances.  If you like your punk fast, simple and raw then you need to be listening to this album, it’s great to have a fresh young, energetic and talented band representing UK punk in a time when so many American bands dominate the scene, Drones remind you of a younger Anti-Flag, who knows where the future might take this band. This record will throw you into in from the second you press play and keep you attentive throughout; it’s a must for anyone who wants to remember all that is great about punk rock.

Drones – Shells Fall, Pins Pulled

The Flatliners - Cavalcade

The Flatliners - Cavalcade

The Flatliners

Cavalcade

Released: Apr 13 2010

Genre: Punk Rock / Ska Punk

Label: Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 3.7/5

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The four horsemen of the rock apocalypse return to the studio to bring us the follow up to ‘The Great Awake’.

The Great Awake, following the heavily ska-punk influenced Destroy to Create brought fans a rather extreme change in style — moving on notably from their earliest material. Cavalcade once again brings a change in style, however, on a much lower scale in comparison to the transition between the first and second albums. Cavalcade keeps the punchy riffs and up-beat memorable songs such as Meanwhile In Hell… and July! August! Reno! that The Great Awake offered, but takes these songs and transforms them into even more distinguishable tracks, packed full of energy.

The Calming Collection, Bleed and Filthy Habits all showcase powerful riffs and an improvement in song writing. Most notably, Here Comes Treble presents a track that begins softly, before erupting into one of the most intense songs on the album. Such a transition within a song really creates a burst of liveliness; allowing the listener to fantasize about an epic concert in a grungy packed out venue. He Was a Jazzman presents a real juxtaposition in style; but perhaps sensibly chosen after the placement of the preceding track. Similarly to This Respirator from The Great Awake, He Was A Jazzman acts as a return to roots track; demonstrating the bands ability to create a true ska-punk song — holding on to their foundations despite a change in style.

As a record, Cavalcade is an improvement in terms of creating captivating music. Cresswell has clearly discovered how he can use diversity in his vocals to create tracks that capture the listener. The sharp transitions between melodic and raw vocals create an aura of impulsive energy that really makes this album so solid in substance. For the punk rock fan, the open-minded listener or the earlier Flatliners fan, Cavalcade is once again a move in a positive direction, with even more added vigour.

~ Article by James Murray

Listen to: Here Comes Treble, Filthy Habits, Bleed

For Fans of: Smoke or Fire, Dead to Me, The Fad, A Wilhelm Scream