The Change

The Deer Moss Murders

Written by: PP on 01/10/2008 13:38:42

And so the recent punk rock railway originating from Sweden sees yet another train starting to make its way towards Europe. The Change are a punk rock band from Gothenburg, with roots in both the melodic and the hardcore, as evident on their new album "The Deer Moss Murders". Think the melodic hooks of Rise Against from either of their last two albums combined with the raw edge of the early AFI records, and you're pretty damn close to The Change. That's my first impression on the CD anyway, which has stuck with me throughout, probably because the album opener "Sleepwalk Casualties" could've been on "Siren Song Of The Counter Culture" and not many would've noticed a difference.

The band varies between the high-octane punk rock assaults ("Scream (Murder on Deer Moss)") and the medium pace rockers ("First Light") to give some variation to the record, but all around the album two feelings constantly make their way to the surface. The first one is that these guys REALLY sound like Rise Against and early-AFI, with the vocalist being the AFI influence and the layered guitars and audible bass coming off the Rise Against back catalogue. Which isn't really a bad thing as such, a point on which fans of both bands will surely agree. It's the second feeling that's more troubling, the vibe that although all of the songs are decent punk rock with a good degree of melody, they lack a couple of essential things: urgency, immediacy, and the primordial anger both aforementioned bands have always possessed. Essentially, the lack of these makes The Change sound like a punk rock band that's missing a cause, consequently lacking the strike/pissed off-factor many of their US counterparts possess.

There are a couple of tracks where some aggression does appear, and therefore it isn't a surprise that these are also the best tracks on the album. On "Four More Years", for instance, the guitars are sharper, and vocalist Bader sings/yells with conviction, especially in the verses leading up to the melodic choruses. Or take "Punk Among The Punx", a much faster track, which provides some of the much needed urgency on the record.

Overall, "The Deer Moss Murders" isn't bad at all, but it isn't excellent either. It certainly isn't up there with the Rise Against / AFI records, but it's still a record fans of both bands should check out, just go into the record expecting similar sounding songs that cross the finish line just a few meters behind.

Download: Four More Years, Sleepwalk Casualties, Rise And Shine
For the fans of: Rise Against, AFI, The Bronx
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.09.2008
I Scream Records

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