Useless ID

Symptoms

Written by: PP on 25/05/2012 18:07:34

It's been quiet at the Israeli punk rock front in the last four years. Though smaller bands have released a number of interesting releases in the meantime (such as Expect Nothing's "The Movie Eatery" three years ago), the flagship punk rock band of the country--Useless ID--haven't released anything since 2008's "The Lost Broken Bones". It was a record that drew its inspiration from the melodicore giants of the late 90s, most notably the seminal releases by Millencolin and No Use For A Name, complete with harmonised choruses with extended vocal melodies and easily accessible, almost mainstream rock styled overall vibe.

Not much has changed for their seventh album "Symptoms" during the past four years. They are still sourcing their best melodies from circa "Making Friends" era No Use For A Name and "Pennybridge Pioneers" era Millencolin, but with the notable change that the songs are more consistent and better written than in the past. Though the record of course features the standard melodicore songs which you've heard a thousand times before from the 90s legends (these are the 'good' songs), it also has a couple of tracks which perhaps even surpass, or at the very least match the best melodies the aforementioned bands wrote during their best days (the 'great' songs). The opener "Live Or Die" is one such song, but "Manic Depression" is where the band writes an irresistible skate punk song with a near-perfect chorus to have you singing along from the first listen. It sounds 100% like Tony Sly & co, but that doesn't matter because the chorus is rock solid and features just the right contrast between angsty and bright melody.

Influences of other 90s melodic punk bands are also waved in front of our noses from time to time. "Sleeping With Knives", for instance, reeks of Lagwagon style vocals in places, and Craig's Brother also waves its slower and more balladic hand on occasion to say hi. As a result, some may argue that the album has a slightly dated sound, but to then the question that begs to be asked is can you ever go wrong at referencing the golden era of punk rock as it is known by the nostalgic twenty and thirty-somethings today? I'd go ahead and say no, but the feeling that NUFAN, Lagwagon, Millencolin & co wrote these exact songs at least as well if not better more than a decade ago is difficult to shake off throughout the album. When all's said and done, however, "Symptoms" is a better album than its predecessor and further cements Useless ID's status as the Millencolin of Israel, or in other words, the best band in the genre in the country.

Download: Live or Die, Manic Depression, Sleeping With Knives, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
For the fans of: Millencolin, No Use For A Name, Craig's Brother, Lagwagon
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.02.2012
Fat Wreck Chords

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