The search tags on the Violins Is Not The Answer BandCamp page are as follows: punk hardcore punk punk punk hardcore punk rock punkrock ska ska punk Ireland. They’re also a handy concise review of their latest (and possibly last, according to Facebook) album, Classic, Dead.
You know what you’re getting; Blistering riffage, boisterous gang vocals, and the odd slow breakdown to give your neck a rest between moshes. Pretension and introspection are to be left at the door from the moment opening scorcher Scumfuck belts out of the speakers to the closing refrains of 1550 696969. Lead guitarist/vocalist Ben Degenerate lashes into lyrics about…well, it’s hard to tell for the most part since the whole band, and the whole album, fly by in a blur of near-drunken glee and aggression, with the rest of the group pummeling their instruments with grin-inducing reckless abandon.
A big drawback of the genre has always been the repetition, but the Violins boys bring a welcome sense of humour to proceedings. One lyric sounds suspiciously like “Oh my God, the f*cking SNES!!!” and the rest of the songs follow the same madcap vein. They even find time for a few moments of subtlety amid all the chaos on tracks like Custard Cream Pie and Moshertalk, showing off the quality of the players’ respective skills. But the standout track is undoubtedly Fall, purely because it departs the most from the hardcore template, the heavy ska inflections making it sound like The Specials after a month on the Lance Armstrong diet.
There’s nothing groundbreaking on Classic, Dead – If the album came in a tin with “hardcore punk album” printed on it, then this writer would happily say that the album does EXACTLY that. What’s important is that it’s funny, fast, furious, and basically just good musical fun. If you’re tired of the endless raft of new types of “core” in metal and punk, then this is just the dose of proper, classic hardcore you’ve been looking for.
[easyreview cat1title=”The Arcade Verdict” cat1detail=”Tremendous fun. It won’t reinvent the wheel, but it will absolutely blow the crap out of it. ” cat1rating=”8.5″]