A horrible hack

the Riot Before


Year Released: 2010
Format: CD
Label: Paper and Plastick
Reviewed by Dan Bennett on Jul 13, 2010
The Riot Beforeís sophomore effort presents us with an album thatís varied in style and full energy and whilst being a thoroughly enjoyable record, isnít without itís faults.

Rebellion seems to find the band in a situation whereby theyíre not 100% on what kind of album they are producing. Given the recent popularity of bands such as the Gaslight Anthem and Lucero, many others are now choosing to try and blur the lines between classic rock with their punk rock roots. In the case of The Riot Before it works but takes a little time to do so.

Great things are promised on opener The Middle Distance, setting the scene for a punk rock album that will alleviate you from the current run of weak & disappointing punk bands. Itís messy beginning with almost Shellac like bass thuds, soon gives out to the urge to move full swing into full on punk rock. The albumís first stumble comes in the form of next track Backstage Rooms, a song that kills the momentum gained by The Middle Distance and marking the first of a handful of songs that favour a more of a slower traditional rock sound. This is a common occurrence throughout the record and despite the fact that I cannot critique the songs themselves as thereís nothing inherently wrong with them, my beef lies in the aforementioned positioning of said tracks.

As the album progresses, this classic rock influence shines through more and more to the point that it becomes intertwined with the heavier punk rock numbers, a practise that works far better than the stand alone songs. Had the album taken this approach as a whole then it would have much more of a continuous flow to it.

Rebellion is definitely an album thatís best enjoyed in hindsight, on first listens I struggled to get on board with due to the fact that it seemed to fall in line with bands like The Gaslight Anthem, but on further listens, thereís far more to it. Thereís heart, energy and passion in this record and itís this that elevates it above the rest of the crowd, despite itís initial stumbles.

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