Twopointeight

II

Written by: PP on 27/12/2011 03:24:08

Sweden's Twopointeight have reached somewhat of a cult status nationally after releasing their critically acclaimed debut album in 2003. They've been quiet since then, and in fact "II" is only their second album, so you'll be forgiven if you don't recognize their name (though they did play at West Coast Riot this year). Their sound follows the general guidelines of punk rock, but offers a fresh and invigorated look at the genre by breaking out of its tight rulebook and moving towards a sound that's only punk rock as an afterthought. Think of the evolution Gaslight Anthem took from their debut album to "American Slang", and that's basically what Twopointeight have done on "II", except without the Americana sound.

You'll have heard a similar expression with mainly bands signed to Fat Wreck attempting to think outside of the box: American Steel comes to mind immediately, but opening track "Guds Hand" sounds like a long-lost bastard son between Fake Problems and Dead To Me on their second album. Song two, "Rumours & Headlines" further cements the fact that Twopointeight aren't your ordinary punk band by dabbling between the laid back, smoky alt rock meets punk of UK's Sharks and the produce of newer Rancid, while throwing in a nice Springsteen overtone as well. It's like punk rock - except with arena-sized potential without the flamboyance of Green Day or Sum 41. Quite the opposite: it's an honest, and vibrant sound with inspiration taken from multiple genres, all embedded into one rich amalgamation of sounds that swings between all the bands mentioned in this review and a few others you might recognize along the path.

"II" is an innovative look at punk which leaves its textbook sound on the sidelines in favor of a big league soundscape that has potential to appeal across a wide variety of music fans - even those who don't normally listen to punk rock. Yet the sound retains the infectious melodies and coarse vocals from its original genre, even if they have been intentionally smoothed out and made more easily accessible for the mainstream public. But much like Fake Problems before them on "Real Ghosts Caught On Tape", the experience isn't reduced at all despite that fact, on the contrary it is improved and should open many more doors for Twopointeight with the right marketing behind them.

Download: Bury The Hatchet, Guds Hand,
For the fans of: Fake Problems, Dead To Me, One Man Army, American Steel, Sharks
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 16.09.2011
I Scream Records

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