Direct Hit!

Brainless God

Written by: PP on 29/09/2013 22:56:31

In the past, no-frills pop punkers Direct Hit! have written a number or infectiously catchy songs on the seemingly infinite number of splits, EPs, and compilations that they have contributed to. Most of these songs have been pop punk songs at heart, but have nonetheless contained a rougher, aggressive lining underneath, thanks to one of their two vocalists owning a rowdy yell that will no doubt bring to mind Dropkick Murphys' primary vocalist, as well as the guys from Off With Their Heads among others. The former thought is reinforced especially after the celtic tunes of "On & On" open their sophomore album "Brainless God" to the tune of an aggressive scream of "FUCK YOU! GET PUMPED!", which leads in nicely to the first real song in "The World Is Ending (No One Cares)". This is a rougher pop punk track that draws in elements from hardcore, which is a predictable but somewhat confusing introduction to the album. Predictable, because Direct Hit! have always loved to scream their hearts out on songs, and they've never been ones to follow convention, and confusing, because the album otherwise relies on The Dopamines style no-frills, clean pop punk for the vast majority of the remaining songs.

But to get back on topic, Direct Hit! have written and contributed a number of catchy songs in the past, yet their debut album "Domesplitter" failed to display the consistency in songwriting that is to be expected from a fun-loving pop punk band of this caliber. In fact, that record was quite boring and underwhelming overall with few highlight moments to write home about. None of that is applicable for "Brainless God", which should by all accounts be the breakthrough album for Direct Hit! within this scene if they even needed one in the first place. Starting from track three "Buried Alive" onwards, the band delivers hit after hit of no-frills pop punk that is oh-so-simple yet impossible to resist. Yes, it's full of simple oh-oh-wooah type choruses, predictably clean vocal melodies, and simplistic riffing, but yet these songs are catchier than the plague, each feeling like potential single candidates from the album.

Four songs later I'm still singing along to the ridiculously catchy choruses, and a shock arrives in the form of track 7, "We're Fucked", which returns us back to hardcore territory with screamed vocals and breakneck speed tempo where the previously upbeat pop punk is but an afterthought when the guitars buzzsaw through a solo towards the end of the 90 second song. It adds variety to the record, but honestly, the straight up, no-bullshit pop punk is what Direct Hit! are best at, and what they should be focusing on. Thankfully "Bank Of Elevators" follows up with another injection of mid-tempo singalongs and basement style intimate melodies that should incite crazy energy at small venues across the world, especially whenever the "woh-oh-oh-oh-oh" chorus arrives. Then "Back To The Tower" arrives sounding like a turbocharged version of The Menzingers' singalong melodies with happy-go-lucky, Motion City Soundtrack style keyboards joining the party in a late album highlight. Immediately after "I Told You A Lie" slows down the tempo to a crawl in the best The Menzingers manner from the shouted out, raw glory of their older material.

If by now you feel like I've named the majority of the tracks on the record as highlights on the record, that's on purpose. "Brainless God" is Direct Hit!'s breakthrough album, and the first time they put together a string of twelve mad catchy pop punk tracks. It's raw and unpolished enough to draw the attention of the punk rock and no-frills pop punk scene, yet the catchy melodies should create interest far outside their niche style. It's a fantastic sophomore album that puts Direct Hit! right at the forefront of the no-frills scene in one swift swing.

Download: Buried Alive, Getting What He Asked For, White Robes, Heaven Is A Black Hole, Back To The Tower, I Told You A Lie
For the fans of: The Dopamines, Off With Their Heads, The Menzingers
Listen: Facebook

Release date 03.09.2013
Red Scare Industries

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