Of Misery and Toil
(No Idea Records)
I believe that the great and sorely missed Thomas "Pig Champion" Roberts was the butt of the Poison Idea joke of record collectors being pretentious assholes. That much is true dear readers, but I'm not as much a pretentious asshole record collector as I am an A-One, bona fide record lover.
When my dear brother Dan called me earlier this year saying that he had pre-ordered this Young Livers album, it wasn't so much the giddy excitement of a new slab of wax in my hands as much as to the execution of this slab's "presentation."
Rex Goliath wineries make a living out of a claim of a turn-of-the-century 47 pound rooster. No Idea can now claim a three pound object d'art. Because that is what this is.
Follow me if you will: This is an LP in the classical sense, waxy grooves of dissonant punk rock embalmed in the snuggly crate of sheet metal (that's right, sheet fucking metal) as a sleeve with a cute printed cover art that was actually more trouble than it was worth ... would Pig Champion abide? I believe he does, because if there is a Heaven for us aging hardcore punkers, he be the new St. Pete, list in hand; making sure your records agree with his.
You shoulda picked Elvis, negro. Young Livers. Uh-huh!
Oh well, I gotta come clean and say that this release did not come without some problems. Something about the ink used on the metal not settling ... regardless of which, once it did, even if it was three or four months late, it's still one of the most delicious releases committed to the unsuspecting masses. This is a beautiful record. From the 180 gram, clear vinyl to the extra CD copy, to the gorgeous new-born weight you can feel in your hands.
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What an excellent follow-up to 2007's The New Drop Era. The bar's set so fucking high now. This is errant, off-the-cuff punk rock that yells out from a dark alley no one has a chance in. That's good.
The boys involved are Matt Farrell on vocals and guitars, Dave Hall on guitar and vocals, Chris Jordan on drums and vocals and Mike Carter on bass and vocals. These guys have the collective experience of No Idea alums Glass and Ashes and FIYA and come off as bastardized versions of Planes Mistaken for Stars and True North.
In other words, these are cats who know the auspices of power violence, thrash, metal, and Central Florida punk rock. I can't even get a foothold on how awesome these eleven tracks are without betraying my fanboy-ness based on the product; but don't be fooled. As good as the album looks, the tracks are savvy with it. From the opener of "Born in Vein" to the double-punch of "All the Wretched" to the title track to "In Rapid Succession" and "A Shortness of Breath," it works.
It catches you in the throat and never let's go. I'm glad they took their time to make it right. When my mortal coil comes up, I'm willing my Full Metal Jacket to deserving kinfolk. You'd be a fool to pass this one up. A down-right, no-good fool if you do. Huzzah! And by kinfolk, I mean my kick-ass nephew!