Though the band members dis critics -- even those who give them good ink -- on their Website, I'll go out on a limb and say that this is the best record of 30footFALL's nearly decade-long career. Granted I haven't heard any of their eight previous releases or approximately twenty compilation appearances, but to put it in punk terms, who the fuck has that kind of time anyway? I have seen them live, and the sound and the fury of The Doppler Effect matches their onstage intensity and stands out as a fine release of sheer balls-shattering punk rock. What sets 30footFALL apart from other more punk-lite acts ("Hey, we looove Blink-182 and New Found Glory!") is its underlying layer of nonnihilistic aggression. Vocalist Butch spits out sufficiently insouciant words over the white-hot musical lightning of guitarist Jason, drummer Brian, and the ever-reliable bassist Rubio. And for a band that once named a record for the catalog number of a mail-order crack pipe, the bandmates are surprisingly clear-headed and succinct about their sound. Highlights like the upbeat "Hooray," "Breaking the Weather," and the sounds-of-solitude "Don't Open the Door" all feature a melodic blast that could only be derived from the players' comfortable abandon with one another.

The Doppler Effect finds the venerable punkers in fine, powerful form. Since the recording, the band has announced the full-time return of Delron (guitar/vocals) and a "rotating" lineup of three drummers. Let's hope they won't all show up for the same gig and demand solos. It would be hard to fit them into a two-and-a-half-minute number.

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Bob Ruggiero