Millencolin

SOS

Written by: PP on 24/04/2019 21:24:09

Am I the only one who noticed the little yellow chicken on the artwork prior to release? We haven't seen it since the 1995 classic "Life On A Plate", so naturally, the hopeful soul in me is rooting for the ninth album "SOS" to sound at least a little bit like the good ol' days. But nope. "SOS" is basically the same album as "True Brew" was four years ago: a career-extension with a couple of bangers, but where the majority of songs are merely decent, missing that final magic touch that's difficult to precisely point out or describe in words, but which makes up the difference between great and just decent.

In other words, "SOS" is largely standard fare Millencolin: relatively fast skate punk with polished production and that signature style melancholic tone that's present both in the guitar melodies but also singer Nikola Sarcevic's vocals. The first half of the record - save for "Nothing" - highlights what I talked about earlier: it all sounds good - yet something's missing and you can't get your mind around what it is. One argument could be a youthful spirit, another one lack of confidence that you only get from writing pure bangers and having fun while writing and recording the album. I mean listen to this side-by-side with either "Life On A Plate" or "Pennybridge Pioneers". Like most other Millencolin albums since the latter, it just feels...forced.

The second half of the record, on the other hand, is so much better. From the melodically infused "Reach You" and the upbeat, anthemic sing-along candidate "Do You Want War" onwards, the record picks up speed in a significant fashion. Here, the songs sound less forced and more like the band are actually having fun playing them (kind of like "Foxy" did in the day). "Dramatic Planet", "Let It Be", "Trumpets & Poutine" and "Caveman's Land" are all great skate punk songs, certainly better than the lackluster opening to the record, so the question remains, why are they not spearheading the record?

In a nutshell, "SOS" can be summarized into two categories: the upbeat, fast-paced skate punk anthems that are bright, catchy and fun, and then to the slightly more melancholic and mid-tempo tracks of the first half that are, like mentioned earlier, merely decent. The ska-punk is still nowhere to be found but that's a 90s Millencolin thing (sadly), and overall, "SOS" isn't bad... but is it the Millencolin record you'll put on in a few years time when going through their back catalogue? Our opinion: it is not.

7

Download: Do You Want War, Reach You, Dramatic Planet, Let It Be, Nothing
For the fans of: No Use For A Name, No Fun At All, Atlas Losing Grip
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.02.2019
Epitaph Records

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