Dark Page Chronicles

Written by: PP on 17/01/2011 03:52:15

Recently I had a quick peak of what's going on in the European punk rock scene, and I ran across Ginger, one of the more promising technical punk rock outfits from France. They released their debut album "Dark Page Chronicles" in the second quarter of 2010, an intense, high-octane, uniform collection of punk rock that resembles two awesome bands in particular: Strung Out, and Wiseheimer.

The former reference comes about because of the technical and heavy, slightly metallic guitars that deliver high-speed, complicated melodies to the listener in an effort to stand out from the typically straight-forward guitar playing of the punk rock crowd. The latter is easy to see as well, given the high-octane skate punk vibe emitted by their songs overall, especially thanks to the clean vocals that sound very similar to the dude from Wiseheimer. Two more bands that you can draw references to are the Canadian melodic hardcore crew Belvedere, and to an extent, their countrymates in Hogwash.

There are also brief moments where Ginger sound like No Use For A Name, especially on "The Gunkanjima Syndrome" thanks to a bright chorus, though Ginger is of course a lot faster and heavier than NUFAN by all counts. "Sour Ink", on the other hand, is a textbook example of Strung Out, though from their less catchy era of records like "Exile In Oblivion". And this is essentially the key difference between Ginger and the wealth of influences audible in their sound: they don't have the same level of songwriting. The songs are good on face value due to the technicality, breakneck speed and feeling of tightness that renders them enjoyable per se, but for some reason they fail to stick to memory entirely. The "in from one ear, out the other" principle applies regrettably strongly here, suggesting that Ginger have spent a long time fine-tuning small technicalities in their songs while forgetting about the big picture. That said, you can tell Ginger are close to a sound that'll draw in a lot of listeners from both sides of the pond, so perhaps once they develop as songwriters they'll figure out a way to combine technical level with memorable song structures. Then we'll have a really good record on our hands, much like the one by Wiseheimer that I keep referring to.

Download: The Time Keeper, The Gunkanjima Syndrome
For the fans of: Strung Out, Wiseheimer, Belvedere, Hogwash
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.05.2010

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