New Releases from Have Nots and Face to Face, Thursday might as well be Friday

I have a couple of new album reviews for you today.  Both of these are some of my favorites so far, and I am excited to be able to share them with folks.

Have Nots – Proud (CD and MP3 iTunes Link)

When I reviewed Have Nots first album Serf City USA I already knew several things. The band consisted of members of two Boston bands, ska punk outfit Stray Bullets and the pure punk rock of Chicago Typewriter. I praised Serf City for it’s fusion of the speed and catchy ska riffs from the Stray Bullets with the melodic sensibilities of Chicago Typewriter. On the Have Nots second album Proud we find the same fusion but augmented with all new sounds that go further to showcase the bands that influence the band. If I picked a single band that Serf City reminded me of I would easy say the Suicide Machines, but the new album mixes in the feel from bands such as Rancid and The Clash. The blend of new styles certainly breaks the album up and means that the best tracks really stand out. One of the big things is that instead of blasting through at all 14 tracks at various breakneck speeds, there is a lot more variation in tempo. I was thinking about picking out a few tracks that stood out as the absolute best, but that is a tall order. What I can easily say is that the songs sit on hill with Dead Man sitting right at the top.

Dead Man - Link to the song, really worth a listen

And for the truly lazy and/or interested:

Face to Face – Laugh Now, Laugh Later (the store should be somewhere... iTunes Link)

It has been a long time since a new Face to Face album was released upon this Earth. It also just so happens that Face to Face was one of the bands that introduced me to the world of punk rock all those years ago, so I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the band and front man Trever Keith. I was nervous about this release because the band has tended to release a good album followed by a weaker effort, and 2002 found us listening to the enjoyable How To Ruin Everything. Fortunately eleven years seems to have been long enough to avoid that particular cycle. Throughout these eleven tracks the listener is treated to some classic 90s melodic punk rock, which means this is a great summer soundtrack (something sorely needed in the absence of new material from The Gaslight Anthem). In a world were reunions of seminal punk bands coincide with banal sounding music, Face to Face instead delivered an album packed with quality tunes just chock full of the band’s signature sound.

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