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Random Conflict - Tradition Is The Enemy (Cover Artwork)

Random Conflict

Random Conflict: Tradition Is The EnemyTradition Is The Enemy (2013)
No Profit Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: DrunkInADumpsterDrunkInADumpster
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In the late 1980s, USA Network's variety TV show, Night Flight, aired the punk rock documentary, Another State of Mind, which chronicled the 1982 tour of Social Distortion and Youth Brigade. For months after, I was obsessed with starting my own punk band and slam dancing and stage diving, just like .
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In the late 1980s, USA Network's variety TV show, Night Flight, aired the punk rock documentary, Another State of Mind, which chronicled the 1982 tour of Social Distortion and Youth Brigade. For months after, I was obsessed with starting my own punk band and slam dancing and stage diving, just like the punks I'd seen in that film. It wasn't until I first saw Random Conflict perform live at the Fort Raymond Jones National Guard Armory in October 1988 that I truly believed, even in Alabama, my dream was possible. Now in my 40s, when many of my dreams have been revised or abandoned all together, I am reminded of that night with the release of Random Conflict's new album, Tradition is the Enemy.

The music is raw, aggressive and rebellious, yet easily accessible and masterfully produced. The 12 songs are heavily influenced by 80s hardcore punk (Black Flag, Minor Threat and Discharge) and contemporary punk (Rancid, Propagandi and Leftöver Crack), but presented in a way that is fresh and uncontrived. The lyrics tear down the faēade of modern culture, exposing evil and corruption, while offering hope and calling for unity. This isn't a record you'll hear on the radio or in a car commercial on TV. This is punk rock as it is meant to be…iconoclastic.

The opening track, "Trailer of Tears," sets the album's tone by exposing the endless cycle of domestic abuse and child neglect, and it demands that humanity take a stand against violence. The mysteriously titled "D.B.A.T.O.E." has the most profound lyrical statement on the album. "Tradition is the enemy of freedom. Tradition is the death of thinking. Tradition is blind ignorance. Tradition is gutless intolerance." How often do we see social progress stymied by those who cling to tradition, even though their blind dedication leaves them hopeless and afraid?

Other songs offer positive solutions to these problems. "Bringing Truth to Power," whose title revives a 1960s radical slogan, calls for the employment of truth and justice to reverse political and social detritus. "Deprogram, Decontrol" is an anthem about rejecting negativity and living life to its fullest.

Even with the sometimes complex themes on Tradition is the Enemy, Random Conflict has the talent and experience to create entertaining songs that have instant appeal with any rock music fan. Many critics have written rock's obituary, and who can blame them? Most contemporary rock acts tend to be more interested in corporate sponsorships than writing and recording music that will stand the test of time. But the flame still burns in North Alabama with the legendary Random Conflict.

 


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