Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Album Review: The Eradicator by The Eradicator

The Eradicator are a punk band based in Chicago led by singer, guitarist and keyboard player Andy Slania. This past October The Eradicator released their debut self titled album. When I saw the cover art for the album I was instantly intrigued as it features a cartoon of a masked man with a squash racket. For some reason I immediately got the impression that this album was going to be fun. I hope I won't be disappointed.

The opening track I Am The Eradicator gets the album going in an explosive fashion. A massive scream and some blasting of some instruments make you stand to attention immediately before the repetitive back and forth of "Who Am I?" "The Eradicator" "Who Are You?" "No-One" eases us in gently before things switch up with some more furious vocals. This opening track is really all over the place and gives you a great feel of what to expect from the album. Complete furious nonsense. Up next is the song One Rung At A Time. Saying things have calmed down on this song sounds a bit stupid to say because there is still plenty of venom in Andy's vocals and the guitars are strummed and the drums bashed just as hard, but there is much more structure to the song. I'm really reminded of Direct Hit on this track, particularly in the vocals. The End Of The Line sees the tempo upped slightly. I think this is where I like The Eradicator best. Loud, brash and in your face and with a ridiculous amount of punk rock energy. It's one of those wonderful songs that makes you want to shout along as loudly as you possibly can.

I'm A Squash Man is the first of a trio of songs in a row that explain The Eradicators love of the sport squash. I'd happily place some money, not a lot but some money, on the fact that no other punk band in history has written a song about squash. This is just ridiculous but I love it because of this. Andy really is a squash man. Up next is Squash Queen. This song is about falling in love with a female squash player, obviously. This a fast paced punk rock n roll tune that again is completely ridiculous but so much fun. Not enough songs these days have a scream of "guitar solo" followed by a guitar solo. The sixth song on the record and the third of the squash songs is named The Grandfather Of Squash. Clearly this song is about Andy's grandfather creating the sport of squash and how Andy has squash in his blood. Wikipedia claims that squash was actually invented in 1830 in Harrow, England, so I do have my reservations about believing Andy's claims on this song but he sings with such passion and conviction maybe I should just give him the benefit of the doubt.

The second half of the album begins in a similar way to the first with some big screams and some thrashing instrumentation. The song is named I Live, I Die, I Live Again and is a full steam ahead punk rock banger. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album but manages to retain some of the humour that's spread throughout. The first time I heard It's Your Right I instantly thought of Off With Their Heads. It's a slower track with heavy and angry vocals. It's that song that has you grabbing the person next to shouting and swaying along to the song. I do enjoy a slow, angry plodder of a song, almost as much as the fast and furious kind. Up next is the song Wake, Hydrate, Baby Aspirin, Squash A Pusshead, Stretch, Sleep, Repeat. It took my almost as long to type out the name of the song as it did to listen to the song the entire way through. I'm now on my third listen through since I started writing about it. It's a pretty short song. The song's title is pretty much the entire lyrics of the song. It's that type of song.

My Mighty Scream is some more loud punk rock fun. I feel like The Eradicator only have one volume setting - LOUD! This is a song about screaming and screaming is what it does. I must admit things are slightly repetitive by this stage of the album but it's still a fun song and if it came on whilst shuffling I would enjoy it just as much. The penultimate song is called Stop Dreaming, Start Living. What I loved about this song is the similarities to Andrew WK. You can never go wrong with that. It's an uplifting song about going out and trying to achieve your dreams rather than just thinking about them. The chorus is one of the catchiest on the album with gang vocals of "Stop Dreaming, Start Living, Get Out And Don't Be A Pussy." Last up is Civilian/Champion. After the brilliant racket of the past eleven songs this song came as a bit of a surprise. CPRW's Emma actually just came into the room and asked if it was the same band I was just listening to before she went to the kitchen. It's slow and soft with quite deep vocals. There's times when you expect things to explode into life and there are plenty of time when it's teased before we finally get The Eradicator we know and love for the end of the song. The song is about living a double life with people not realising who you actually are.

The Eradicator's self titled came out of nowhere to be one of the most entertaining albums of 2017. In a month where big hitters such as Propagandhi, Hot Water Music and Iron Chic all released long awaited brand new albums, The Eradicator show that there are also bands in the underground putting out great records and definitely shouldn't be overlooked.

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This review was written by Colin Clark.

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