The 20Belows

Headaches And Moodswings

Written by: PP on 22/06/2009 20:04:20

More Danish punk rock coming your way. Here's where you cheer, clap and whistle loudly. OK, that clearly doesn't work as well on paper as on stage, but luckily that's about to change soon. Many readers of this review will be happy to know that The 20 Belows will be performing at Roskilde Festival this year during the warm up period to the weekend. Go see them because it'll be a party. That's also the reason why I figured we should have a review of their 2007 record "Headaches And Moodswings" in our database so more of you will go check them out when the day comes. They're actually also label-shopping for their unreleased new album at the moment, but since we don't know when that's coming out just yet (although I do have it, *insert evil laugh*), we'll have to do with this one for now.

Essentially, The 20 Belows play laid-back, feel good punk rock which leans heavily on pop and rock. You could be tempted to call it pop punk, as sometimes it feels like and old, early 90s pop punk record in the vein of Green Day but a little more laid back and less commercial - think of Screeching Weasel as the closest example. You'll also find a distinct smell of 70s punk rock if you pay attention, here I'm thinking about the worry-free but rebellious expression of bands like Ramones and even Sex Pistols, although both references are somewhat far-fetched I might add. The album highlights are really good. "Message" opens the record with fast-paced melodic punk riffs that develop into a dual-guitar approach where rhythm guitar provides the speed and the lead guitar flies on high notes above. "Shiny Little Hearts" is almost playful in its guitar tone and singing, presenting a sound that makes you feel like 13 again (though in a good way). Everything's so relaxed and laid-back, maybe a little bit too laid back at times, as many tracks on the album just lull by you without making a large impact. Case in point? "Goodnight Louise" is a tad bit too slow for an album like this and "Leaving You" sort of just strolls along without a sense of purpose. Granted, they aren't bad songs, but they aren't exactly impact makers either.

It's obvious to this reviewer that The 20 Belows are at their best when they are playing fast-but-joyous punk rockers like "Down Again" or "My Very Best". The other stuff just doesn't click as well as the faster ones, which make you want to dance, relax and chill out in the summer sun while drinking some beers with your mates. It might be a whole another story live, but I guess we'll have to wait about a week more before we'll know more about that. For now, The 20 Belows are a decent pop punk/punk rock band with a sound that's tried-and-tested before, but somehow it sounds very much like it's their sound.

Download: Message, Down Again, Shiny Little Hearts
For the fans of: Ramones, Fed Up 74, Team Stray, Screeching Weasel, Teenage Bottlerocket
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.01.2007
Whoa Oh Records

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