By The Plight
My anticipation of this release has been huge. It would be safe to say that of all the releases in 2007, I was looking forward to this one the most. After heaping praise on their self-titled first release last year, and frothing at the mouth describing any number of their local live outings, people were waiting for me to be disappointed. Well, Fuck you, because 'Black Summer' is the best punk record I've heard this year. And no, I'm not just being nice to the local talent. It Really is that good.
Opener 'Clarendon' rides confidently out of the speakers atop rolling drums and stop start riffage, the first impression being that this is a much more focussed incarnation than on previous material. I'm not sure if it's the production or the band themselves, but things sound bigger, and more pissed off to boot. 'Shadow Boxer' brings the rock, ditching much of the hardcore influences and nailing their rocker colours to the mast. 'It Only Gets Worse' sounds like a bar fight with a melodic chorus, whilst re-recorded tracks 'Ball and Chain' and 'Lifestyle' have been stripped and shagged and as a result sound rawer, much closer to their live incarnations.
'Black Summer' also yields a contender for this year's punk fucking anthem, 'Pull the Trigger'. This track is fucking MASSIVE. From the moment it thunders from the stereo it sounds huge, somehow sounding louder, bigger, and angrier than everything before it. This song has everything, frighteningly tight drums (John D's drums sound fantastic on this album, but this track is a standout), awesome harmonies, a great chorus and an intro rumble so epic it could bring a stadium to its knees.
This is the best punk record of the year, and I want that used as a pull quote.