Up next is Sharpen Your Pitchforks. This song asks the question of “what makes you better?” to people who are very quick to judge. The track actually begins in quite a sombre fashion which caught me slightly off guard (in a good way) but the song does soon build up. Matt’s vocals are wonderful for helping the song grow towards its highest points and I can’t wait to sing along with the song live. Everyone Here Is Better Than You is a mid tempo punk rock sing-along and anthem-like song. The stop-start introduction will get your head banging in no time at all. The vocal harmonies throughout the opening of the song continue to give you the urge to head bang. 3dBs Down really use their ability to deliver these wonderful harmonies to such good effect, it’s like having a fifth instrument. I think they need to do some acapella songs. Idiot Ignorant Evil is a more chilled out reggae number for the most part. You’ve probably realised by now that 3dBS Down can’t just stick to one style in a song. The song has such a summer vibe to it you can imagine sitting in your garden, enjoying a cold drink and having a joyous bop to this song. The track is about being nice to people and having faith in human decency. I loved the positivity that pours out of the song, it put such a smile on my face as I danced around the living room.
The seventh song is titled Pink Cardigan Twinset. One of the more straightforward punk rock songs on Get Your Retaliation First, the track would fit perfectly on all of your skate punk playlists. On this song, 3dBs Down tackle the culture of putting on a front to try and get ahead in life and how it’s a temporary solution. Up next is a short song named Well that seems to be more of an interlude than anything else. It’s a softer song that serves as an introduction to the ninth song, Flat Out. Flat Out (which is appearing on our next CPRW Records compilation) shows off a heavier and more eerie side of 3dBs Down. It’s a positive song about constantly learning and evolving to continue to move forward. Midway through the track we get a breakdown that has a sample of Well that leads us towards a crunching, epic finale that will sweep you away. Hang In There Man is a track that the band have been playing live in recent years. Whenever I’ve seen them play it, it’s got me so excited for the band to release this album. It jumps back into the ska punk style and those superb upstrokes that make you want to dance with all the joy in the world flowing through your body. Hang In There Man is about looking out for your mental health and trying to find positives. I feel like I could say this about every song on this album but, oh my, the harmonies are so bloody good.
I was so sad that Greatest Day wasn’t a Take That cover. It is however a very good ska punk song about being positive about the future with the stand out line being “tomorrow could be the single greatest day of my life.” The theme of being positive pops up a few times of the album and it’s a refreshing change from the current trend of bands singing about how sad they are. I have to admit, the song’s finale is slightly poppy and cheesy but my goodness it had me grinning from ear to ear and singing along. The penultimate track on Get Your Retaliation In First is titled Institution. This is a chilled out reggae/dub track that will have you swaying along. This is a more political song that looks at fighting back when you’re feeling oppressed and not letting the institution win. This slower style adds so much power to this song as it has you really listening to the lyrics deeply. It’s a quite stunning vocal delivery that can’t be ignored. The thirteenth and final song is Light On A Dark Day. This, if you can believe it, is an eight minute long ska punk song. I thought Just Say Nay were the only band silly enough to attempt such a mental idea! Clearly I was wrong. 3dBs Down manage to squeeze a lot into a standard length song so just imagine what they’re able to do with eight minutes. There’s so much going on here, I don’t really feel like I can do it justice to even try and review it properly. Be safe in the knowledge that there’s big riffs, ska upstrokes, sing-alongs, harmonies, skankable moments, it’s full of positivity and it’s bloody brilliant.
In short, this album really was worth the thirteen year wait. Go and listen and if you’re unfamiliar with 3dBs Down’s back catalogue, go and educate yourselves. I hope that the release of this album means that the band will be playing more live shows in the future. Welcome back!