Sunday, 23 August 2015

Album Review: The Regressives by The Regressives

The Regressives are a punk rock and roll band from New York. After forming in 2011 under the name The Stockyard Stoics before changing to The Regressives they have just put out a new self titled album. Here's my review of it.

The opening track, Revolution Ballad is a classic sounding punk anthem. After starting out a little slowly before turning into a The Clash inspired number remembering failed attempts at revolutions. The street punk sound of the vocals gives the song a lot of energy and the many gang vocals really help make the chorus massive. The second track Culture War feels much more aggressive than Revolution Ballad. The Regressive go on the attack against modern culture, the media and there scare tactics. There is a lot of spite and venom coming from the lead singer throughout the song and manages to really make me care about what he is saying. Long Time Coming has a different and interesting sound. The verses are played with a polka style you don't often hear combined with street punk before the chorus hits and makes you want t shout along with the band. The Wrong Animal is a minute and a half of anger. Everything about this song is hard, from the drums to the guitars to the vocals and lyrics, the band seem extremely pissed off. They manage to keep the chorus very catchy though and encourage you to join in with their anger with a chorus of "Up In Flames!"

Lt. Piggot (We Salute You) is a big bar room sing-a-long. It's a fast pace track with vocals coming from everywhere. This must go down a storm live with a the crowd shouting along to the cry of "Lt. Piggott We Salute You! Fairytale is a short psychobilly sounding track with a strong bass line leading the song during the verse before a big group chorus. I like that The Regressives aren't afraid to throw in different styles of music  into their sound whilst still managing to sound like themselves. Red Blood feels like a song that doesn't really know it's own identity. It's enjoyable enough in its current form but I can't but feel that if it stayed at the slower tempo that's played at the beginning of the song it would be a classic. The faster tempo that the song is played at made it difficult for me to get completely immersed in the song. 

The eighth song Problems is one of my favourites on the album. It's a bouncy ska punk song which I'm sure you can guess what the topic of the song if from its title. The overall message though is that everyone has problems and that is totally okay. You are not alone. Roots changes the sound again, this time to a more country/folk punk sound. The Regressives manage to do every single style imaginable very very well. This song is about making a name for yourself somewhere and you will be remembered long after you die. The band use a the circle of life of a tree for a clever metaphor for this. Track number ten is named Untitled. Or the song is just doesn't have a name and they're making things confusing for reviewers? This is a by the numbers punk rock song about realising that the world isn't like you had hoped it would be and learning to live with the disappointment. 

Like Roots, Wildlife In America also uses a metaphor to get its message across. In this song The Regressives compare people to animals saying that we're all the same. Musically this song really reminded me of political punks Anti-Flags trademark sound with the bands lead singer's throaty voice layered over the top. There is a special appearance by UK ska/punk/oi band The Filaments Jonny One Lung on the track as well, providing vocals for one verse. The City In Strategic Retreat is an attack on the fat cats in the business world. More punk by the numbers stuff here but I think the big aim of the song is to make people realise that all is not right in the world and asking how can we live with ourselves because of it. The penultimate song on the album is the fast and furious Steal The Key. This is one minute and twenty-five seconds of unrelenting punk rock aggression. Despite all the anger in the tone of the song the message is actually a positive one. It's about breaking out of the shackles that are holding you back and living your life the way you want to. Finally we have a song titled Central Standard Time. This feels like another barroom anthem slowly plodding along until the final chorus bursts into life.

The Regressives have come out of nowhere with this release. Street Punk feels like a genre that is on the decline, with gravelly voiced melodic punk rock being in vogue at the moment so hearing something different and so good is an absolute pleasure. A band to keep your eyes on.

Stream and buy The Regressives here: 

Now listening to Albuquerque Low by Elway

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