Parole Violation sees The Raging Nathans go down a different route. Turning everything up to eleven, including their anger – this is a full speed hardcore song and I love it. It’s full of passion and energy and will certainly get a circle pit going whenever they play it live. The track really allows Christian Roerig to show off just how good he is as a bass player with some great rumbling basslines pushing the song forward. The sixth song is titled Signals. Reverting back to the band’s more traditional pop punk sound, Signals is about the frustration of not being able to read people and feeling bad about it. There’s such a slickness to the song. It feels like a lot of time has been spent crafting these songs so they’re perfect. The backing harmonies in particular are a superb touch on the song. It’s a subtle extra layer that brings a lot to the track. Outside wastes no time in getting started. During the track, lead singer Josh Goldman sings about feeling ostracised and asks if you know what that’s like, as well as wanting to find a way of fitting back in. There’s a definite 90s skate punk feel to the song, particularly No Use For A Name who always edged towards the poppier side of skate punk. Up next is You Are Not Me. This was one of my favourite tracks on Oppositional Defiance. It’s about those people who always have a better story than you and look to one up everyone. What The Raging Nathans are saying is that those people are jealous of what you’ve achieved by yourself. The song has a great barroom sing-along feel to it; arms wrapped around your friends, fists in the air shouting as loudly as you can – a great time!
The ninth song is titled Big Mouth. Big Mouth certainly has a feel of The Copyrights about it with the buzzsaw like guitars and big gang vocal chorus. There is an in your face nature to the song that fits the song’s theme perfectly. It’s about, like the chorus states, having a big mouth and not being able to shut up. This is such a catchy chorus that you will be singing for days after listening to the song. Stargazing is about missing your loved ones, perhaps due to being away on tour. This is one of the poppiest songs on the album, showing off a softer side of the band. The song is quite a simple and repetitive one that you will latch on to quickly – this really made it stand out on my first listen of the album. I enjoyed the irony of the harmony during the line “so alone”. The penultimate track on the album is titled Old Blood. Old Blood really brings the pace back up. Opening with some rapid fire vocals and an uptempo melody, it gives the album an adrenaline shot just as it begins to finish. Musically it’s relentless from start to finish with the vocals supplying most of the melody. Oppositional Defiance is finished with Spoiled Brat which originally appeared on their split with Parasites. Making sure to finish the album with a bit of a flurry, the song has quite a long intro that builds into some of the most passionate vocals on the album. The song is about not appreciating what you have and what you’ve done and then realising that that is a stupid thing to be doing.
Oppositional Defiance is another superb addition to The Raging Nathans discography. It could be, in fact, their best release so far. It is definitely one of the best pop punk records of 2020.
Pre-order Oppositional Defiance on Bandcamp here.