Left Alone

Left Alone

Written by: PP on 08/05/2009 15:02:47

Bass-heavy, feel-good melodic punk rock that's both light and easy to like. You won't need many listens to hum along to songs like "Spike With Pain" or "Bombs Away" on Wilmington, California based Left Alone's fourth full length record. No wonder Tim Armstrong of Rancid signed these guys to his label Hellcat Records. Catchy vocal harmonies, infectious songs full of sing along moments, nice and clean production. Sounds like your run of the mill pop punk doesn't it? Far from it.

You see, the difference between Left Alone and your average pop punk band is easy to understand. The vocal harmonies are slightly grittier, the guitars have been left reasonably rough to preserve the nice edges and to give a feeling of authenticity, and generally the tempo is way beyond what any pop punk band is able to play these days. And then there are the fantastic bass-lines that have me thinking Rancid in many places, especially evident in the ending of opening track "Spike With Pain". These kind of moments help explain why so many have fallen in love with punk rock bass-lines.

Among other highlights on the record, we've got "Branded", a track demanding a sing along to its ridiculously catchy chorus repetition "branded branded branded branded", the balladic "Bombs Away" with its slow, bouncy rhythms, and the hardcore-influenced "Brindle" which really brings out the best from Left Alone's bassist. But Left Alone have never been just about high-octane melodic punk. "Sad Story", for instance, merges together the best parts of the latter and ska, which results in a gypsy-punk feel; "3 Bottles Of Wine" opens with keyboard that could've been on the latest The Hold Steady album; and "Wishing Well" is ska-punk to its bone. All this brings a good amount of variety to record, ensuring that the listener never feels like he's hearing track one for the 15th time in a row by the time he reaches "Get Dead!".

So if Left Alone's aim was to write a record where more or less all songs are singalongable and bring out a worry-free fun vibe perfectly timed for the time of the year, then mission has been well accomplished. When summer's peaking around corner already, you can easily imagine leisurely strolling on a beach or biking around the city in sunshine fueled by "Left Alone". It might not be particularly original, but nonetheless solid overall.

Download: Branded, Brindle, Bombs Away, Spiked With Pain
For the fans of: Rancid, Time Again, The Bouncing Souls
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.04.2009
Hellcat Records

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