Shook Ones

The Unquotable A.M.H.

Written by: PP on 25/07/2009 03:25:16

How can you not love an album that's kicked off with a bright gang shout "yeaaaahhhh woh-oh ohhh, yeaaaaaaaah"? "Middle Name: Justice" is an instant mood-lifter, forcing a feel-good, party-atmosphere on you even if punk's not normally your thing. From here on, Shook Ones basically take their sophomore album "Facetious Folly Feat", one up every element essential to melodic hardcore, and fire up eleven solid melodic hardcore punk tracks straight out of the playbook of "Jersey's Best Dancers"-era Lifetime. Lips drooling yet? I thought so.

"For Collards" is the first real track after the joyous intro that's perfect for putting you into the mood of some fast punk rock. If you've ever heard any Lifetime before, I shouldn't need to tell you that the vocals are of the semi-gruff type delivered with sheer passion and a great sense of melody, inducing lots of sing alongs in the process. The guitars, granted, aren't anything out of the ordinary in melodic hardcore, given the razorsharp edges, raw energy and relentless speed, but if melodic hardcore's your thing, it doesn't get much better than on this album. "Bird On Ice" has a much better chorus despite it's mid-pace guitars, and it's here where non-melodic hardcore fanatics will find their most memorable part of the album. The tortured, coarse yells are sung just melodically enough to hit a home run for most people, and the overload of woo-hoo's at the end of the lines are like made for live performances. "Silverfish" takes things back to the melodic hardcore backyard though, with raw power chords leading the way for another woo-hoo powered chorus filled with extended vocal passages and numerous time-signature changes ranging from the lunatic pace to the almost balladic. Then it's time for some d-beat and aggressive yelling with "Equal Opportunity Insults", but even I feel that the band are a little bit too hardcore punk on this one to really stand out, as they do on so many other tracks here.

There are more sing alongs to be had on the super-melodic "For Flannel", where the band drops the speed down slightly in favour of a more accessible sound, which is all good, but at this point I'm starting to wonder when Shook Ones are going to push the envelope slightly and distinguish themselves from the other melodic hardcore bunch. A song like "Double Knot That" is extremely solid in every way, and it'd be difficult to point a finger at any particular flaw in the execution or doubt the passion behind these songs, but it does little to bring in new fans to the genre. All throughout the record, a consistent voice keeps telling me that although these are some freaking awesome songs when it comes to melodic hardcore, if the genre wasn't your thing before, this album will do very little to change your mind. That being said, if bands like Lifetime, Capital, Daggermouth, Smartbomb, Kid Dynamite, etc are high up on your Last.fm most played list, then missing out on "The Unquotable A.M.H" is comparable to criminal activity.

Download: For Flannel, For Collards, Silverfish
For the fans of: Lifetime, Capital, Smartbomb, Daggermouth
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.06.2009
Paper + Plastic

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