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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Comeback Kid: Broadcasting…

    Hardcore punk has been around for more than 20 years now, a genre pioneered by bands like Black Flag and Minor Threat, but because those bands have long since disbanded, it’s time for a new breed of hardcore bands to carry the banner.

    Canada’s Comeback Kid, along with outstanding peers such as Modern Life Is War, ThisIs Hell and Bane, is doing its part to keep the hardcore spirit alive, and the band’s newest record, Broadcasting…, is full of enough gang vocals and incendiary guitar riffs to keep the mosh pit happy.

    This record marks the first without original singer Scott Wade, who left the band last March. His replacement, Andrew Neufeld, does an admirable job filling Wade’s shoes with a powerful voice that’s in some ways better than his predecessor’s.

    The album opens with the blistering “”Defeated.”” When Neufeld screams, “”I’ve been exhausted for too long,”” it ushers in a riff that goes right for the throat and doesn’t let go. The title track is sure to become a live favorite; it’s easy to imagine a room of fans screaming the refrain of “”Compliance!”” over and over again. Indeed, the backing vocals are produced in a way that makes it sound like the band has a whole army behindit. Songs like “”Give’r (Reprise)”” and “”Disconnected”” are blistering anthems overflowing with the passion that defines this new generation of hardcore. The album lacks some of the big choruses and memorable riffs of the 2005 record Wake the Dead, but its sheer intensity is sure to win over skeptics.

    Given the rabid loyalty hardcore fans show toward their favorite bands, getting a new vocalist is certainly a risky maneuver, but Comeback Kid has assured that the kids in the pit will still be pumping their fists and screaming along to every word.

    By Nick Hornung

    Kaiser Chiefs: Yours Truly, Angry Mob

    Fear not, the post-punk revival is in full swing; Kaiser Chiefs returned with its sophomore album and it’s … er, pretty average.

    Fans of U.K.-based art-rock bands like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and Interpol (OK, so they’re not from the U.K., but they wish they were) knew Kaiser Chiefs after the 2004 single “”Oh My God”” invaded radio stations in the States. Although the 2005 album Employment waned in places, it was a notable debut for the Leeds, England-based indie rockers.

    Sadly, the much-anticipated follow up, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, all-too-closely resembles the first album and fails to musically evolve. After a strong opening, the album craps out and retreats into the same formulaic garbage used as filler on their debut.

    Yours Truly opens with the song “”Ruby,”” which topped the singles charts in the U.K. this week. The melody hints at influences ranging from Blur to Echo & the Bunnymen and is worth a listen. On this track, the instrumental is at its best but the lyrics sound like they were written by a toddler who just downed half a dozen bottles of Nyquil. I kid you not, the lyrics for the chorus are, “”Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ahhhh ahhh ahhh ahhh ahhhh,”” repeated about eight times.

    Obviously arriving at the title “”Ruby”” wasn’t too difficult either. If you can stomach the chorus however, the song’s not that bad.

    “”Ruby”” is followed by the album’s pseudo title track, “”Angry Mob.”” The song is a hypnotically catchy commentary on paranoia in pop-culture, highlighted by lead-singer Ricky Wilson chanting, “”We are the angry mob/ we read the papers every day/ we like who we like/ we hate who we hate/ oh we’re all so easily swayed.””

    By far the best song on the record, the track changes into an intense new melody halfway through that would make your ears smile if they had mouths. Then, as if to spite their fans, the band pulls out, leaving listeners crying by the nightstand asking what they did wrong.

    During the third song, aptly titled “”Heat Dies Down,”” the album collapses back into the mediocrity that plagued the first album. Maybe the band is trying to make some sort of statement and is exhibiting backlash at fans by titling the album Yours Truly Angry Mob, then, producing the audio equivalent of crap. Or maybe the band just got lazy.

    Yours Truly does recover in certain spots, and concludes with something close to what listeners had hoped for, but it’s too little, too late. The last song, “”Retirement,”” is marginal at best, but follows so much forgettable material that it’s a masterpiece by comparison.

    By Andrew Austin

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