This is Pistol grip’s second full length, after the excellent “The shots from the Kalico rose” .This is also their second release on BYO records, which kind of confirms the quality of this band, as BYO has a fabulous roster, with many quality bands that all have a different sound, yet all these bands are pure punk as it’s meant to be.
Personally I loved their latest effort and recon it’s one of the better records released in 2001. Their style is best described as a modern version of late 70’s streetpunk. Now I’m a fan of that genre, adoring bands like the Bouncing souls, Ann berretta and Swingin’ Utters. It’s typical that all these bands have a relation to BYO. The Bouncing souls started their career at BYO and after they had made a name they moved to Epitaph and became a big hitter. The Swingin’ Utters have done a split with Youth brigade and Sixer consists out of ex-members of Ann beretta and play a pretty similar style. It seems the people at BYO really have an eye for bands playing this kind of music. Anyways, I loved “the shots of Kalico rose” for being old fashioned in a new way, with nice guitar melodies and quite some catchiness throughout some of the songs.
On “Another round” we hear Pistol grip mature. A small lineup change has taken place: Guitar player and second vocalist Chase revenge had been replaced by Chris (that’s all I know about him.) That’s a shame really, because Revenge has a nice voice, which brought some variation to their previous effort. However, one of the main reasons I like Pistol grip is because of the fantastic voice of Stax, which is powerful yet clear and differs very much from the forced, narly vocals that are mostly used on streetpunk. On “Another round” however, it took me a while to get used to the singing, because it’s echoed and sounds a bit like he’s singing under water. Although this sounds pretty original, it irritated me during the first few listenings. I have accepted it now, but I wouldn’t have used the echo this much.
It’s clear the technical abilities of the band have improved, which results in a few nice guitar riffs and some nice bass lines. The lyrics cover many topics. Some are written in pure streetpunk style (sweet & sour of a knife) and some are somewhat more thought through (1997). My personal favorites are “Sweet and sour of a knife”, “1997”, “Gypsy”, and “Broken Radio”. The main strength of the record is that it doesn’t contains any weak songs and has a few songs that differ in song structure, like the hard hitting “Black heart”, “Damned of tomorrow” (which is a fast paced streetpunk song that could have been taken from the latest Swingin Utters) and the last track that is a laidback (sounds a bit reggae-ish) song, with some nice guitar solos.
So altogether an awesome record, that is probably a few classes better than the also excellent “Shots of the Kalico rose”. Any self-respecting punk rocker should pick this one up. Rumors are going round that they are coming back to Europe in june this year. The last time I saw them, they played a great set, so I’m dying to see them again. In the meantime I’ll play this record until my cd-player falls into pieces.