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Valient Thorr - Total Universe Man (Cover Artwork)

Valient Thorr

Valient Thorr: Total Universe ManTotal Universe Man (2005)
Volcom Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 0.5


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

If this band was good, then maybe I'd be writing a different review. Maybe I would be praising their silly backstory (something involving being from Venus), or maybe I would be laughing with them over their metal clichés. Perhaps we could even pretend to actually rock out. Instead, I'm forced to gi.
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If this band was good, then maybe I'd be writing a different review. Maybe I would be praising their silly backstory (something involving being from Venus), or maybe I would be laughing with them over their metal clichés. Perhaps we could even pretend to actually rock out. Instead, I'm forced to give you the story straight: This band is terrible. And not terrible in the good way either. It's so bad you can't even laugh at it. Instead, we're stuck with 4 slightly talented musicians, one supremely annoying singer, and no good songs.

A mixture of cut-rate metal riffs, third-rate cock rock tempos, and unratable attempts to bring thrash into it, Valient Thorr is a culmination of exactly what I've come to despise in many bands: A lack of rock. That's right, it just doesn't rock. Instead, it's really boring. It makes me gag a little bit, then puts me to sleep, where I have glorious dreams of the MC5, who these chump-monkeys can't stop aping. Did they really need to throw the fake crowd and semi-sermons in before songs? Ugghh.

Also, any band with a metal aspect doesn't get to do spoken-word intermissions in their albums. Or maybe if they actually rocked they would be able to. But alas, this thing is tamer than that sixteen-year-old Hellcat band. Ouch.

Note: Bring the rock before you bring the antics.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TheDoodlyMan (August 25, 2012)

do u want my sweat martians?????i taste like awesomness!!!

vocalyouth (October 13, 2006)

This reviewer is missing it. This band slays.

Kursk (August 5, 2006)

what the hell, I meant to give this an 8

Kursk (August 5, 2006)

I think everyone needs to stop being so damn serious about music and have fun, I can see where any elitist is going to hate this album and think no one in this band is talented so I guess I can forgive them, but to anyone open minded about music, this is a fun CD. Don't get me wrong this is not mind blowing original shit, far from it, but what they are doing is done very well.

Anonymous (October 6, 2005)

Valient Thorr rock video is here:

http://bifocalmedia.com/pictures/valient.html

Anonymous (August 22, 2005)

jesse you ignorant slut.
are you sure you even got the right record?
Valient Thorr are probably THE toughest fucking rocknroll band around right now. i've seen all the bullshit mc5 imitators, i've seen badass other bands like supagroup, and Bad Wizard, but none, and i mean none of them compare to Valient Thorr. These dudes are legit. you can't look and rock and act like them, and not be 100%. if they weren't, you might have a point. there are lots of bullshit bands that miss the point. this time it is you who has dropped the ball.
that's their whole gig. they've created an album SO packed with positive vibrations and messages, and BAM, they're slapped in the face like this with all this negativity. The words on that album, go back and listen. I wish it would've come with lyrics, so the blueprint would be layed out there for reviewers who feel they've heard it all, yet don't take the time to look beyond the wrapper. I'm sorry. of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the deal is here man, you call out who needs to be called out, and i guarantee, if you got anywhere close to these dudes, you'd change your tune, and apologize. i saw them twice this summer, and i've never been more intimidated, yet turned around so quickly once i listened to what this dude had to say. the heart, the soul, and the ferocity, with which this man speaks, blows away 99% of anything that is around today. all the crybaby rock, all the pussy rock, any pop notion that has crossed your mind is washed away. Shit. i don't know. the dude below who claims to be valient himself is right. google them, don't take this schmucks word for it. it looks like they tore an asshole across the country this summer. i know a lot of people here in DC feel the same as i do, about their message, and about our president.
This is ROCKNROLL man, true rocknroll, not punk rock anyway. its the shit that paved the way for everything else we've come to love. They tapped into that. Bon Scott and Bruce Dickinson would be proud. and if ya don't dig that, well then, just keep your eyes closed, and your head up your ass, i'm gonna stick it out here with some dudes from another planet.

Anonymous (August 16, 2005)

if everything has been done before and done better...
why the fuck does everyone keep playing and listening to music? Why doesn't everyone just give up?

These dudes are about playing music and bringing people together. They're about creating relationships and fuckig rocking! You guys always ruin a good thing by trying to compare shit to other shit. Just accept it for what it is. DAMN!

As ar as talent goes...
-The drummer in this band is totally talented. Check out his other band Continent on Bifocal Media (www.bifocalmedia.com).

-The guitarist with The long hair is a badass drummer as well! He plays in The Kickass (a math metal band ala Don Caballero, Breadwinner, The Oxes, etc...) also on Bifocal Media. ( www.thekickass.com )

Anonymous (August 10, 2005)

You guys need to quit whining on message boards and get out and watch Valient Thorr live. I've seen a thousand bands live and they put on the craziest show I've ever seen. The lead singer is fucking insane and in the middle of the show walks out into the crowd, makes everyone sit down, and tells the most absurd story a man could ever hear, then jumps right back into the rocking. The mp3s and the album really don't do them justice, this band is all about the live show. It's really something to see. They'll be on tour with Strung Out in a couple months. Check it out. You WONT be disappointed.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

Wait a second. Maybe this is the point where everyone's gone mad, but are you suggesting that music has not progressed at all, ever?

Right, ok, whatever. I'm going to choose to ignore that, because it just screams "utterly mad".

Let's just disregard all the different musical styles that have emerged since punk's heyday, because essentially, they're all the same.

I can't even remember what my original point was now, but I don't care. There's no point in even debating this any more.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

"david johansen hated the ramones at first and told them to give it up."

He did. And took it back like 1000s of others. Smugness is not just a writers problem.

"johnny ramone has said he thought pretty much every other new york punk band was terrible besides them."

If you read a little more you will know that was Johnny's humor. In reality he thought The Ramones sucked.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

" I couldn't give two shits about it "being accessible" to everyone if that means that people are going to jump on this as an excuse to regurgitate the same old crap over and over."

English? Ahh but i don't care let me look at your point. Any musician will tell you that there is nothing really new or different under the sun. It really has all been done before. Kind of why these reviewers can't get past constant comparing to some band in the past on just about every review. They are too inexperienced to know you can write that about any band.

What makes any music "fresh" is WHEN it is injected into the music scene. I can go on for days showing how one band takes from another. All of this makes your point quite invalid.

You may not give "Two shits" about why the bands you love choose to actually take a chance and play music. But your "Two shits" should thank their hairy bean sacks that they overcame people with ideas like yours and played music that they would admit, sucked.

The writers here don't chide musicians to play better music when they cut up bands. They take every band that ever was and piss on their honor.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

being a "punk" dosnt mean accepting all music no matter what...

david johansen hated the ramones at first and told them to give it up.

johnny ramone has said he thought pretty much every other new york punk band was terrible besides them.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

It is not I who does not understand, it is you, your first major difficulty apparently being the English language.

The point of new music is to advance on what has already been done before, and not to sound unoriginal.

If the reason you love punk is because "anybody can do it" then fine. Good for you. However, that was never why I liked punk rock. I like it purely because it sounds good. That is all. No other reason. I couldn't give two shits about it "being accessible" to everyone if that means that people are going to jump on this as an excuse to regurgitate the same old crap over and over.

Your definition of what it is to be "Political [sic] Correct" is just wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

"I'm sick of people trying to pretend something is new, fresh, exciting, good, whatever, when it's all been done before, and done better, and then getting pissy about it when someone calls them out on it."

So i guess you feel its all been done before? Then whats the point of new music? Trying to do it again, but better?

"It's political correctness gone mad when people who have good reason to call something rubbish are frowned upon when they do it."

You got it all wrong. It's "Political Correct" to act like you are reviewing some grand art and then cut up on bands. Rock->Punk was about and will continue to be about people that get off their asses and play. It is supposed to be rubbish, it is supposed to suck, it is supposed to be played be people with "no talent" and most of all it should make people that don't get it mad. You don't get it.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

"The big question is... Would you be able to identify this band when it released a CD? Of course not, you are too busy cutting on bands to notice"

Is this meant to imply that this band is indistinguishable from many other bands? Because that's not really a good thing.

And this all blows. You're coming up with a load of pointless rhetoric about how people just "don't get stuff" as a defense for crappy music. Fuck that, that's what Tracey Emin lovers use to defend passing off an unmade bed as art. I don't really care if that's "punk" or not. I'm sick of people trying to pretend something is new, fresh, exciting, good, whatever, when it's all been done before, and done better, and then getting pissy about it when someone calls them out on it.

It's political correctness gone mad when people who have good reason to call something rubbish are frowned upon when they do it.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

"The Ramones don't waste their time, they waste yours. This garbage. There is a complete lack of talent in this abortion of clichés... All of this has been heard before and you are forced to hear it over and over again." - Robert Christgau July 1977

He regretted those words 5 years later when he admitted he "didn't get it" the first time.

"Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I've not listened to them. I don't really care either way to be honest. ... I guess I'm on shaky ground here, since, as I've pointed out, I haven't listened to this band."

I understand, the music does not matter. We are talking about CD reviews here. You should only judge it by ... ummm. THE MUSIC?

"In this sense then, the review seems very fair. He's not being a total dick and just going "What a bunch of fags, they suck, I hope they die"

No, he said "This band is terrible. And not terrible in the good way either. It's so bad you can't even laugh at it. Instead, we're stuck with 4 slightly talented musicians, one supremely annoying singer, and no good songs. " which of course is really the same thing.

Punk was not a sound or even a DIY attitude, that was retrofitted much later. It was all about the idea that ANYONE can play music and should at least try. These bands passed out old guitars to anyone that would play them and told them to start a band.

In 1976, The Ramones came to say STOP the bullshit and a lot of it was directed at writers that were praising Jethro Tull, Disco, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Yes, ELP, The Allman Brothers, ect. They were floating around in an orgy of actually trying to write about Rock music like it was some grand art. The joke was and still is, that it is not.

1976 needed The Ramones to burn the earth and clear the bloated bands playing endless solos to sold out Arenas. They changed the world and almost no one at the time knew it. The last ones to get it were the cool "Elite" writers and it was very funny.

Over 30 years later here we are with reviewers on this site smug in the idea that they know grand art trying ever so hard to write "inside joke" funny lines all with the banner of "Punk" flying over their heads. It too is quite funny. They have become all that Punk tried to end.

Today what clichés would a band peform to end this Bloated "Punk" (emo, metal core, hard core, you name it core)? Just like the clichés The Ramones used to end Bloated Rock? Because we know the world is ready when guys like Jesse write the way they do about bands.

The big question is... Would you be able to identify this band when it released a CD? Of course not, you are too busy cutting on bands to notice.

Please drop the PUNK name from this site for gods sake.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

And as a side note: if the mp3s on their site are anything to go by, then this review seems absolutely spot on.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

Why are you comparing this band to the Ramones?

Ok, I'll be the first to admit that I've not listened to them. I don't really care either way to be honest. But you seem to keep drawing parallels between the early punk movement and this band in your quest to achieve a state of "No bad reviews", and from Jesse's review, this is a record by a band that bares little relation to that in that they don't seem to be doing anything new, or, worse still, rolling deep in standard rock clichés.

I guess I'm on shaky ground here, since, as I've pointed out, I haven't listened to this band. The point still stands though. You keep on going on about how negative reviews might have destroyed bands that, at the time, were playing some revolutionary new music. The criticisms levelled at this particular band don't seem to be anything to do with the reviewer "not getting it", but more to do with that a) they're not doing anything new and b) they're not doing it very well. For all intents and purposes, they seem to be a band that is an utterly superfluous addition to a genre that's already been done to death.

In this sense then, the review seems very fair. He's not being a total dick and just going "What a bunch of fags, they suck, I hope they die", he's actually giving valid reasons for his dislike of the music.

The way I see it is, ideally, when writing a music review, you shouldn't really give a shit about the band - what they've done before now, what happened during the recording process, whatever. It's not important. All that matters is what you think of the music that comes from your speakers. at that point you ask yourself two questions, basically.

1. Does this sound good?
2. Does this music sound like a lot of other music that's currently out there?

Anything else is essentially irrelevant. Sure, for the purposes of writing an interesting review, you talk about other stuff sometimes, stuff that isn't strictly to do with the music, but that's for the purpose of good writing only.

When it comes down to it, if you think it's shit, you say so. You say why it's shit. If it doesn't fulfill the criteria of the two questions asked (i.e. it doesn't sound good, and it doesn't sound like anything new), then you can rip into it all you like (as long as all you rip into is the music). You would have a perfectly valid point, and it's just tough luck for the band in question. If they don't want negative reviews like that, then they should just make better music. That's why countless shitty pop punk/emo/hardcore/metal bands constantly get bad reviews here - not because people don't "get" them, but because a lot of people think their music is garbage, and don't care to dress it up as anything else.

To be honest, the only time you're going to find people complaining about negative reviews of a band (other than because they genuinely disagree with them) is when they have a vested interest in them - either because they're in the band themselves, or they know someone who is. I hardly imagine that'd you'd be so eager to defend the many other bands who receive merciless reviews here.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

"First, while I'm glad your teacher's words changed your life for the better, it's kind of a pity he didn't teach you how to spell properly."

Exactly. I did not persue writting.

"Second, as a member of a band myself I can appreciate the point you're trying to make. I would hate to see something I'd put a lot of time and effort into mercilessly cut down, simply because the reviewer is a jerk or has an axe to grind. That's not to say that I couldn't take some constructive criticism, not every album can be the next Sgt. Pepper's of their respective style of music (I'm sure any band I play with certaintly won't achieve that)."

Glad you agree.

"On the other hand though, some people just shouldn't play music. Let's face it, no matter how much respect you do have for music, some bands just suck, and all these bands do is clog up the music scene making it more difficult for more deserving bands to get the recognition they deserve."

No bands "Clog Up" the system, if they are around they are around for a reason and don't need reviewers to "finish them off". If they are so bad, no one would care and they would not earn a living, Correct? So no one needs the Jesses of the world to fix it.

But I guess the point a lot of people miss here is that I do not advocate "Nice/Good reviews" just not destructive reviews. And maybe also a perspective. To realize that guys like Jesse will write something that will make them look even more like a fool in 5 years.

I used the example, that ALL the punk bands that started this musical branch were laughed at, ignored, told to die by just about every rock writer at the time. Lets get a perspective of back then... You are a "Elite" writer just looking for personal Cred in every review with bands like Yes, ELP and Queen, held out as the cutting edge. Then one day "The Ramones" shows up on your desk, you pull a Jesse and say that it is 38 minutes of the same 3 minute song and you just don't write a destrutive review, you want the band to die, and just give up. The fact is Johnny would have told you that those bad reviews almost ended their mucical lives and never gained respect for any of them.

To pretend that these reviews have anything to do with the Punk ideals that taunts ANYONE to TRY to play 3 chords and TRY to sing is a insane. Because that is what Punk is all about. Not great music, not good music, just music with something to say OR nothing to say.

Most reviewers here have become all those things that Punk tried to put a bullet into, smug, elite blowhards that are full of themselves thinking THEY know what music is about. Punk found out a long time ago that a burp is musical.

Anonymous (August 5, 2005)

Okay Valient Thorr Jr, I've read most of what you had to say, and here are a few thoughts.

First, while I'm glad your teacher's words changed your life for the better, it's kind of a pity he didn't teach you how to spell properly.

Second, as a member of a band myself I can appreciate the point you're trying to make. I would hate to see something I'd put a lot of time and effort into mercilessly cut down, simply because the reviewer is a jerk or has an axe to grind. That's not to say that I couldn't take some constructive criticism, not every album can be the next Sgt. Pepper's of their respective style of music (I'm sure any band I play with certaintly won't achieve that).

On the other hand though, some people just shouldn't play music. Let's face it, no matter how much respect you do have for music, some bands just suck, and all these bands do is clog up the music scene making it more difficult for more deserving bands to get the recognition they deserve.

If I could write a review that was negative enough to make Matchbox 20 stop playing music, I would do so in a heartbeat.
I mean if we continuously gave encouragement and spared the feelings of every shitty band out there, who would take our orders at fast-food restaurants and and pick up our garbage?

Oh and a word of advice, if you're getting all upset about the negative reviews on this site, don't ever go to buddyhead.com.

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

I didn't mean genres in the first place. There are some good bands on that list, I used to listen to Raised Fist a lot.

-BSD

jamespastepunk (August 4, 2005)

I guess I messed up. But what music do you like that keeps to DIY standards?

-BSD

Genres are for people who want to dismiss lots of other people with a broad stroke. Instead, I'll name some bands that I believe to have a apparoached their career in a "punk" way of which you may approve.

Over It
Bouncing Souls
Planes Mistaken For Stars
Bane
A Wilhelm Scream
Hot Water Music
Paint it Black
Motion City Soundtrack
Raised Fist
Park
Screeching Weasel
Shai Hulud

rkl (August 4, 2005)

heres how punknews.org works.

if its indie-flavor of the week or sappy pop-punk, 4-5 stars. screamo/metalcore - 3-4 stars
hardcore - 2 or less

you cant blame the staff, though. some of them have grown out of it, and that's fine, musical tastes change. others,however, like anchors, have yet to hit puberty, and that's no one's fault but god's.

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

too bad this wise talk has once again fallen to stupidity. Achors AWAY.

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

Anchors, I highly doubt you know anything about underground music that isn't Screamy McScream-Scream and the Screamenators. Didn't you say "Extreme Noise Terror suck" or something? About the album that basically created dual-vocal punk-grind?

I highly doubt you've ever hear 3000 records, much less own that many.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

Oh yeah, that was me. My bad.

- Anchors

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

I'm gone for two days, and the idiot(s) run amuck. Christ. It probably is the same kid from the Yesterday's Rising review, wouldn't suprise me in the least.

And that whole "only musicians should review/criticise other musicians" claim is the biggest bunch of garbage, ever. Apply that to other mediums and see how well that works there. All film critics should be directors? All book critics authors? All food critics chefs? That's bogus. So somebody who owns 3000 records, all of varying genres and eras shouldn't be allowed to review unless they're in some two-bit garage band on the fast track to a career at Target? Fuck off.

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

By the way, I didn't mean for it to sound like only those kinds of music still have a DIY philosophy. What I mean more is that they keep to independent standards, as opposed to all the crap covered on this site.

If being a punk is all that matters, then you don't really need all that, because a lot of good music was once on majors. I'm just saying, when I think of punk rock, I think of more of an attitude on how you make music than a certain sort of music, and those sorts of music seem to all happen to keep that attitude. That is, they don't change their politics, ideas, or music for anyone, much less "majors".

-BSD

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

I guess I messed up. But what music do you like that keeps to DIY standards?

-BSD

jamespastepunk (August 4, 2005)

Thrashcore
Power-violence
Crust punk
Political grind

These are all very important to punk rock right now, actually remaining the few staples of old punk rock philosophy still going on to date... And none of the staff reviewers seems to listen to or enjoy it.

Judging by that, you don't have a more indepth reason. Eliteism goes both ways, and I'm not going to let you call me a charlatan.

Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

Yeah, that's what I said.

I'm pretty sure my reasoning wasn't a little more in depth... It was just "you like it or ur not punx!!"

Or maybe I stated that those are 4 types of music that still use strong underground/DIY ethics, as opposed to mallcore and whatnot.

-BSD

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

I just don't like Thrashcore, Power-violence, Crust punk or Political grind.

Therefore, I must not be punk.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

"I don't really understand the idea of "making people stop playing", that really kind of seems anti-punk to me, but oh well, the punks didn't listen in the 70's"

The fact is many bands did listen to the bad Press. It is very Ironic that The MC5 was mentioned in this review. The MC5 was torn apart by some "Elite" in the press and was one of the leading causes for them quiting. I can name a lot of bands that have been hurt by writers that have a monkey on their backs.

I am not saying at all to write "good" reviews, but I am saying that what was written here was not a "review" it was an attack on the band on every level. There was a desire to make funny words more than a desire to offer a constructive review.

I am sure most of us here know musicians, do a little experiment. Take one of the many "Just quit playing" reviews that Jesse and others have posted here and show it to your musician friends and tell them this was about the muusic they make. Look at them and see what it does to them. Really see the damage it causes. Then tell me if what this guy did here is wrong or right.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

Well, it's not like CB are the only band who sound like that...

I don't know, music is serious business. It's kind of like voodoo, I don't think anyone should take it too lightly. Hawthorne Heights and independent bands have nothing in common, seeing as they were basically created by the music industry.

I think a lot of what I've typed will be misconstrued as "never give a bad review"... I don't think reviews need to encourage everything, but you know, I think they should offer a general feel of the band up and let people know why it sucks.

As far as I can see, Jesse's review did that (this time, at least).

If I reviewed the new Tossdown CD or whatever, I'd probably destroy it, too. There's no music I dislike on principle, but there's some music that attacks my principles.

Personally, though, I don't think reviews matter as serious press on this site. I also don't think there's much audience for this music, and that may be a cold, hard fact at the moment. Who knows? Who cares?

I don't really understand the idea of "making people stop playing", that really kind of seems anti-punk to me, but oh well, the punks didn't listen in the 70's and with modern technology making it easier to make home recordings, they sure as fuck should take no heed now. I don't even see the point of reviews. People who like it will find other ways of finding out about underground music, and there's no chance of being trashed by some guy you've never met.

Sadly, the cliche still stands. For underground rock to survive, you've got to keep it underground. This site has one foot in the underground and one foot in a cynical overview of all pop culture...

-BSD

Jesse (August 3, 2005)

Oh man!!! Sonic Firestorm has been rocking my world for the longest time!! I love that album!

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

Who here has heard Dragonforce? Those guys fuckin' rule!

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

Music is personal. Some people get it, some people don't.

More to the point. Just because some people can't take bad reviews doesn't mean they shouldn't be handed out.

The point of a review is to give an honest critique of the recording in question so other people know whether they might be interested or not. A review isn't, and never should be a substitute for listening to the group's music and deciding for yourself, but as critics, we do the best we can.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

One last point:

Please don't tell me about the "Thick Skin" that musicians need to have. Because if you study the lives of the "Heros" of music you will see that bad reviews have caused everything from suicide on up.

Lets pray that they DON'T all get Thick Skin and tuffin up, then we will all loose. Because it is our Artists that are maybe many times more sensitive to the world (thin skined?) that have made all of our lives here a little esier to take.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

"Magazine ads and MTV and commercials, actually. There was a gigantic ad campaign for Hawthorne Heights before the album ever came out. That's why its our job to take down a notch or two those who deserve it. Commercials and ads are just one side of the spectrum."

False. All the ads in the world will not make a hit record. Over the last 20 years one can make a very long list of examples. Of course this does not stop lables from spending the money for a few soundscan points they may get.

There are many reasons why/how "Popular music" gets popular. But I can tell you that all the bad reviews in the world will not effect a CD that has crossed the tipping point and became popular. But on the other hand a lone reviewer with some axe to grind can destroy a band's life.

Valient Thorr is not Hawthorne Heights and do not need to be "taken down a notch". And it is NOT your job or anyones job to take anyone down. If music is popular get mad-- at the people that buy it and PAY to watch it performed if you must. Because at the end of the day THEY voted with their wallets.

You choose a profession that should talk about the merits of the music you listen to, wrapped in the ethos of "Punk". Look at your life and ask if you are truly doing a service to you or the world with the tone and attitude you take towards musicians that are just trying to do the art they love.

This is a very big responsibility but I feel that anyone can be sucessful in being honest about what they hear and give a personal judgement on if it is worth a purchase.

As much as you may like to see your funny lines, your "style", save it for something else, not the idle destruction of artists.

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

See, this is why I like punknews. A conversation between people who differ can be had without one side calling other "t3h buttmuching fags" or "ghey spic chinks".

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

primeevil7, very well said. But I do not agree with you about Jesse. He is everything Punk tried to stop.

Maybe he will learn and grow and maybe he will take that monkey off his back and write reviews that will not embaress him in years to come.

skaboom (August 3, 2005)

Huge promotion doesn't necessarily guarantee success, though.

Vendetta Red, anyone?

Jesse (August 3, 2005)

"I think one thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that bands need press. While I totally agree that music reviews should be taken seriously, and for the most part it is better to be constructive than destructive, the role of the music reviewer is important. How do you think Hawthorne Heights got to where they are? Good music and good performances? I'm not so sure. Reviewers and zine editors spread the word, which is something that is extremely important to the music scene and shouldn't be taken lightly."

Magazine ads and MTV and commercials, actually. There was a gigantic ad campaign for Hawthorne Heights before the album ever came out. That's why its our job to take down a notch or two those who deserve it. Commercials and ads are just one side of the spectrum.

Jesse (August 3, 2005)

"I think one thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that bands need press. While I totally agree that music reviews should be taken seriously, and for the most part it is better to be constructive than destructive, the role of the music reviewer is important. How do you think Hawthorne Heights got to where they are? Good music and good performances? I'm not so sure. Reviewers and zine editors spread the word, which is something that is extremely important to the music scene and shouldn't be taken lightly."

Magazine ads and MTV and commercials, actually. There was a gigantic ad campaign for Hawthorne Heights before the album ever came out. That's why its our job to take down a notch or two those who deserve it. Commercials and ads are just one side of the spectrum.

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

primeevil7, in reading most of your reviews you do what most reviewers here don't do- you actually try to be constructive. No one can fault anyone that does not like a cd or band but one can fault someone that needs to rip it apart .

//There are select few groups that need to be ripped a new one. Whether Valient Thorr is one of these, i don't know. Jesse, like him or not, does reviews in his own inimatble style. He's like Pitchfork and NME all rolled into one. That said, his reviews, past the bombast are usually quite goood.//

I do disagree with you on some points...

"Just because a group of people put "everything they have" into it, is nice, but if the music sucks, I can't justify telling people to buy a CD that isn't that good."

This is from the "about" on this site.... "Our mandate is to provide an inclusive community-based site for the delivery and discussion of music news surrounding punk, ska, hardcore, emo, metal and indie. ". Punk is the basis of this site. And Punk was built on bad performances, bad musicianship, etc??a majority did not put ??all they had? into the music or performances. We can debate who started this musical movement but all of the bands any of us would suggest did not perform "great music" but all of us revere them as leaders.

//What backed up the performances of early "punk" artists was that the music behind them could stand on its own two legs. Sure, every now and then, you'll hear someone saying Never Mind the Bollocks... wasn't that good, but we all know better. Did the Sex Pistols need Sid's or Johnny's antics? No. Is that now a part of the attitude? Defintely.//

In their time they were picked apart for "antics" and not "rocking". Dive in and pick a founding band of the Punk movement and read the reviews of the "Jesse" of that time, they said the same things because they did not get it.

//Jesse, smug as he seems to be, has pretty good taste, so I can't imagine him talking shit about London Calling or Rocket to Russia, if that's what you're worried about.//

The irony is really amazing ??Punk? music has come full circle and is now filled with ??Elites? that look down on musicians and ??forced to give you the story straight: This band is terrible. ??

//There's always going to snobs who want to maintain their credit by cutting down good groups, or being overly harsh. That said, in time, people realize what these critics are up to and stop listening.

Of course, that "elitist" writer could be correct, and the CD does indeed suck, but he or she said it too harshly.//

The dead Ramones (hmm ??antics? band?) are laughing at all of these smug reviewers that in the name of ??Punk? sit and analyze music. EVERY band and writer owes The Ramones to some extent their existence.

//That last sentence is going to get you in a bunch of trouble. Instead of calling you a bunch of names, i'll just point you to something Ben Weasel wrote about just that. It's in the context of Elvis and Chuck Berry, but it applies here, too, I think. Read on..//

I will ask all these smug ??Elite? reviewers here and now, how many people are you stopping? How many 12 and 13 year olds are you holding back? Because of your poisoned words and frustrated lives you may be hitting a very young Johnny or Dee Dee and push them just far enough not to try. Is this what Punk was about? Last time I checked Punk demanded anyone to pick up an instrument and just play. If you do not believe in this, then rename this site, ??Elite Correct Music That Does Not Suck.org?

//You seem to forgetting one important thing. That space for reviews is for frank discussion of the music created, and what people's opinions on the music created by the groups today. And if the music isn't good, then it is the job of the critic to say so. If the music is good, it is the duty of the critic to say so. Ethics and enthusiasm only get you so far.

Addtionally, if you're going to be in a band, you MUST be able to deal with bad reviews. It's the way things have gone since there was recorded music to be bought.//

Punk will live in the hands of anyone that at least tries to do SOMETHING and not sit on the SAFE sidelines and criticize it .

//You're right. Punk will live through that. It always will. That said, if that group's output is bad and I'm asked to review it for people to purchase, I'm going to tell them the truth. That this CD is bad.

We're all for more music. But when you go to the reviews, the purpose differs. The purpose is to give honest reviews of the CDs and shows reviewed. Ethics, if a part of the music will be praised and discussed there, but only if its a part of the music. If you're interested in a discussion of punk ethics, a review isn't where you put it, unless it has something to do with the group's music.//

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

primeevil7, in reading most of your reviews you do what most reviewers here don't do- you actually try to be constructive. No one can fault anyone that does not like a cd or band but one can fault someone that needs to rip it apart .

I do disagree with you on some points...

"Just because a group of people put "everything they have" into it, is nice, but if the music sucks, I can't justify telling people to buy a CD that isn't that good."

This is from the "about" on this site.... "Our mandate is to provide an inclusive community-based site for the delivery and discussion of music news surrounding punk, ska, hardcore, emo, metal and indie. ". Punk is the basis of this site. And Punk was built on bad performances, bad musicianship, etc??a majority did not put ??all they had? into the music or performances. We can debate who started this musical movement but all of the bands any of us would suggest did not perform "great music" but all of us revere them as leaders.

In their time they were picked apart for "antics" and not "rocking". Dive in and pick a founding band of the Punk movement and read the reviews of the "Jesse" of that time, they said the same things because they did not get it.

The irony is really amazing ??Punk? music has come full circle and is now filled with ??Elites? that look down on musicians and ??forced to give you the story straight: This band is terrible. ??

The dead Ramones (hmm ??antics? band?) are laughing at all of these smug reviewers that in the name of ??Punk? sit and analyze music. EVERY band and writer owes The Ramones to some extent their existence.

I will ask all these smug ??Elite? reviewers here and now, how many people are you stopping? How many 12 and 13 year olds are you holding back? Because of your poisoned words and frustrated lives you may be hitting a very young Johnny or Dee Dee and push them just far enough not to try. Is this what Punk was about? Last time I checked Punk demanded anyone to pick up an instrument and just play. If you do not believe in this, then rename this site, ??Elite Correct Music That Does Not Suck.org?

Punk will live in the hands of anyone that at least tries to do SOMETHING and not sit on the SAFE sidelines and criticize it .

theownzenator (August 3, 2005)

I think one thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting is that bands need press. While I totally agree that music reviews should be taken seriously, and for the most part it is better to be constructive than destructive, the role of the music reviewer is important. How do you think Hawthorne Heights got to where they are? Good music and good performances? I'm not so sure. Reviewers and zine editors spread the word, which is something that is extremely important to the music scene and shouldn't be taken lightly.

stevejonestherealbones (August 3, 2005)

BSD please answer ME. (haha that rhymes so you should answer)

ok

"Thrashcore
Power-violence
Crust punk
Political grind"

now, in light of the fact that i think these are some of the silliest and most fucking inane genre names (but dont take too much offense, because i think most genre names are fucking retarded), please give me two or three bands for each genre that you think are basically the top two or three right now. i'm assuming they are gonna be current bands since you said something about these being the important "punk" genres right now, or something

so yeah, i'm curious to see what bands you think are the tops.

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

"I don't play in a band, but I've played jazz tenor sax for about 6 years now. I can also play guitar and bass and sing. So yeah, good point."

My point is not about playing an instrument, my point in this case is about actually recording and performing this music. This is creating.

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

When anyone becomes a critic, it ain't all hugs and handshakes.

And if you want to get any respect, you're going to call a spade a spade and give negative reviews to bad CDs/performances. It's being honest.

Hawthorne Heights puts everythnig they have into their performances and studio recordings, but does that change the fact that their recordings and performances are hideous? No. Are they good guys? By all accounts, yes. That doesn't change the fact that their receorded output is abysmal.

Just because a group of people put "everything they have" into it, is nice, but if the music sucks, I can't justify telling people to buy a CD that isn't that good.

And before I get attacked by a lynchmob, yes, I pay my dues to the young men and women who make art and put it out there to be judged. I know I couldn't do that, but I also know that if I don't like it, I'm going to say so.

That doesn't mean I'll be unduly harsh, but bad music is still bad music.

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

Actually, never having heard, and caring even less about Charles Bronson, I'd treat it like any other CD reccomended to me by you, BSD.

With extreme skepticism.

Jesse (August 3, 2005)

I don't play in a band, but I've played jazz tenor sax for about 6 years now. I can also play guitar and bass and sing. So yeah, good point.

Kenjamin (August 3, 2005)

Jesse, don't you play sax in a band or something like that?

Wouldn't that make this whole, "reviewers are merely jealous that they cannot create art themselves" arguement irrelevant?

Jesse (August 3, 2005)

Pfft. You think I wouldn't know Charles Bronson? Have more faith in me, kid.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

I guess I could chalk it up to: This site doesn't cover that much DIY/independent music... And when it does, it's never very enthusiastically.

Now you see, I want someone to do an experiment. I want someone to send Punknews a CD labeled "Band X EP, 2005", and have the CD just be 15 random Charles Bronson songs from their Complete Discography.

I bet a cheese sandwich that the reviewer would rip apart Band X, calling them nothing but a shitty hardcore band with bad production.

On the other hand, if you gave someone the Charles Bronson discography itself, the stigma of the band would make the reviewer treat it as art (which it deserves, because CB were awesome). But I don't think punk bands should need stigma. No matter what they play.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

BSD

Your comments are a breathe of inteligent air. I agree on most points you make. But...

I really think it is our need to put a lable on music that may be part of the problem...

Pick the start of "Punk" -- The Kingsmen? Iggy Pop? MC5? The Ramones? The Sex Pistols? I would think that this point can be debated for a long time. But my point is all of that music was not respected when it was new. Today we see reviewers at this "Punk" zine say "4 slightly talented musicians, one supremely annoying singer, and no good songs. " This is what was more or less said about all the bands I just mentioned in thire time by EVERYONE. Because the writers did not understand.

Of course today many see those bands as "Great". Back then, no one knew what to call it they just wanted it to be gone, so as a put down, the "Elite" (music writers) called it "Punk Rock", music for dumb punks that don't know "Good" music. The musicians that created this "New" music did not care what you called it, they just wanted to prove ANYONE can play music (Two and one half Chords) and talent or anything did not matter. Art and artists played in old basements and garages. All of them went on to fame and some fortune.

Here we are in 2005 and the joke I have been trying to point out here is the reviewers on this site are now the "Elite" and they are now saying the same things that the "Elite" said about all music they did not understand. They have become the chumps and now they try to stand in the way of music because bands that "suck" should give up and go away. They should thank the ballsack of every band that "sucks" because long before all these reviews were born 1000s of bands that "sucked", like the ones I mentioned, shaped all the music they "Like" today.

This is why you don't destroy dreams. If you like any music you owe all music respect.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

But I have to say that something that's supposed to be as unique as punk rock shouldn't really let reviews effect it that much. Music reviewers don't know shit about music, in general.

If someone actually likes or dislikes a band because of a review, then they can go fuck themselves. Look at Rollins. He makes music that continually gets shit from everyone in the music press, but what does that matter? What does the opinion of some skinny tie geek matter when you are honestly in it for love of the art? I don't even like Rollins Band, but I have to say I respect the philosophy very much.

There just seems to be a lack of familiarity with the various music scenes here... Just how some other web zine called From Ashes Rise "tough guy hardcore", I will once again point out that this zine has NO foot in:

Hardcore punk
Thrashcore
Power-violence
Crust punk
Political grind
DIY/Lo-fi rock

These are all very important to punk rock right now, actually remaining the few staples of old punk rock philosophy still going on to date... And none of the staff reviewers seems to listen to or enjoy it.

But once again, I would just like to reiterate two things:

1) VT seem to be classic rock
2) If you know a web zine is totally oblivious to your type of music, just keep the CD from getting reviewed on there and get it reviewed by people who actually know what the fuck they're talking about.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

"The bad thing is that there are plenty of bands that put everything they've got into a recording, their music is their life, but you can't expect some unknown band to consume a music critic. I could understand how pissed a band would be if they spent years doing something they loved, a copy of their CD wound up on a reviewer's desk, and a week later their life's work is just trashed in three paragraphs."

You are on to something there. And this is about how you live your life as a man, the honor that you have. If there is not enough time to do the right job, then don't do the job. I truly believe that if most of the reviewers here saw how much damage they have caused. See the faces of these musicians just trying to do the best at the only thing they know. They would do the right thing and extend respect for those that at least did something.

This is not Brain Surgery but this profession may be just as powerful, in this case a dream may be lost. I think this world could use more dreamers.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

"I don't respect shit that sucks. This whole "respect for music" thing is why we have such horrible music out there. I do write positive reviews. If you're any good, you get raved over. If you're bad, I'm going to make sure you know it, so that maybe you'll quite making music, sparing me from having to review another one of your CDs."

The sad truth is in reading your reviews quite a number of bands that you gave "positive reviews" have "quite making music". The fact is your musical tastes have changed and will change as everyone's does. You would save yourself alot if you understand that and treat all music with respect. No one says you have to like it. And I bet if you search your soul you dont really want musicians to give up on their dreams and their art, even if you don't like/understand it today.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

You're missing the point, though. Are these bashing reviews really necessary? Sometimes, maybe... But more often, it's a way to get things done. Working on a time schedule with CD's by bands you've never heard of isn't that much fun. There is really not much angle allowed for a band like this. Hard rock isn't really something most people into independent music listen to.

So do you want a reviewer to spend hours thinking of ways to sound "nice" and "objective"? I guess that would be cool, but to most, this web page is a fraction of life. The bad thing is that there are plenty of bands that put everything they've got into a recording, their music is their life, but you can't expect some unknown band to consume a music critic. I could understand how pissed a band would be if they spent years doing something they loved, a copy of their CD wound up on a reviewer's desk, and a week later their life's work is just trashed in three paragraphs.

By the way, this has nothing to do with VT, really.

-BSD

Jesse (August 3, 2005)

I don't respect shit that sucks. This whole "respect for music" thing is why we have such horrible music out there. I do write positive reviews. If you're any good, you get raved over. If you're bad, I'm going to make sure you know it, so that maybe you'll quite making music, sparing me from having to review another one of your CDs.

Anonymous (August 3, 2005)

"You phrase your arguments like I take this as legitimate journalism. I guess you've never been here before. Welcome to Punknews.org. I hope you like being called a queer/faggot/douche. It'll probably happen often."

You play a game with yourself. "Oh this is not serious". When you know it is. This allows you a way out when you can't really measure up to the writer that you could become. It is "legitimate journalism" when this site collects money from advertisers. And as a writer here, paid or unpaid you a part of a profession that can have honor. The honor that have made Robert Christgau, Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus, Cameron Crowe, and Lester Bangs the godfather' s of rock/punk writers. They all regreted being stupid and at some point changed from destroying musicians to supporting them. As all rock/punk writers must face at some point, they realized that they can't do the things that they write about. They wake up one day with a new found respect for all music, including some band of 14 year olds with one badly recorded song on PureVolume.

As far as being called "queer/faggot/douche", thats fine, none of that stuff really matters, but thanks for careing.

jamespastepunk (August 3, 2005)

If only to Jesse's chargin, who'se going to Planes Mistaken For Stars in Chicago?

Oh, the review? I liked it. I still think you're a plant from Pitchfork, though.

Jesse (August 2, 2005)

"Jesse is the greatest reviewer on this site."

I appreciate that a lot.

And to the critic:

You phrase your arguments like I take this as legitimate journalism. I guess you've never been here before. Welcome to Punknews.org. I hope you like being called a queer/faggot/douche. It'll probably happen often.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

Hey, this is Valient Himself. I'm totally stoked on our album. if you'd like more insight on the album than this, google it, .....thanx for the review though... any press is good press...

yours in further analytical development of the mind,
valient himself

Scruffy (August 2, 2005)

Man, the threads under Jesse's reviews contain some of the dumbest comments on this site.

skaboom (August 2, 2005)

Ok, I'll address the points you made, in order. Sorta:

1. Well ok, the scale goes from 1 to 10, so I guess a 6 or above would be a favorable review in my opinion. No, I still haven't counted how many are above that marker. If anything is wrong with the rating scales, its that too many scores are at the extremes. Most albums should be 2-4 stars, but there are far too many in the 1 and 5. But whatever, I don't submit any, I just read them, and if it actually bothered me I would stop. I read the reviews for the content anyway, the score is for the lazy. If you appreciate all music like you say you do, I assume you read the actual reviews themselves and realize that the number of stars means very little in the end.

2. If you appreciate all music, then you are either a better man than I, or are retarded. Seriously, browse purevolume for half an hour, if you haven't changed your tune (omg pun lol) then I will be impressed)

3. I phrased my praise to the reviewer like that on purpose. I know he sometimes writes cheesy intros. That's why I specifically said that this was written better than the reviews that are chock full of boring irrelevant crap. Constructive criticism or what have you.

4. Isn't numbering your points arrogant?

5. Yes, yes it is.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

Just saw these guys this past weekend at Warped and they played one of the better sets of the day IMHO.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

I saw these guys at Warped this past June and needless to say, their set wasn't anything to write home about. I noticed that the singer looks like WIll Ferrell from the Cowbell skit... like the same beard, hair, and creepy, hair-covered, flabby stomach and chest. But yeah, he got up in the crowd and started talking about "things in the universe coming together as one" and some guy was like "fuck that!" and the singer was like "you know what? You're a douche bag!" Sweet band name though.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

"Sorry to burst your bubble, little protege of Valient Thorr's singer, but lots of albums get positive reviews on this site. I haven't counted, but I'd say about...half of them, in fact."

Based on what you consider a "good" review. By my count about one third offer any sort of praise.

"Face it, there is a lot of bad music out there. Especially on indie labels. Now, I'd say the best music is on indie labels, and goes undiscovered and unappreciated by the mainstream. But for every such band, there are 1000 who are on indies because they simply aren't good enough to earn more fans. This is just one of many, many such bands."

I think all music has a right to exist and to be heard. Its not a race or a beauty contest. It's just music. And yes music creates and enforces emotions, but it does not require a music writer to get emotional.

"And reviewer, you had my hooked by the very first line:

"If this band was good, then maybe I'd be writing a different review."

Seriously, thanks. It's nice sometimes to read a review that doesn't start with an anecdote from ones childhood or hack philosphies on life."

Please be serious this same write wrote this about a band he liked...

"reminds me of lying out in my old backyard, painted emerald but soaking in the sun."

I am sure the writer wished he could take that back. But this is the life of most writers. They tend not to "get It" and leave a life of wishing they did.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

i love this album, its done with alot of heart.. sorry its not so cliche

skaboom (August 2, 2005)

Sorry to burst your bubble, little protege of Valient Thorr's singer, but lots of albums get positive reviews on this site. I haven't counted, but I'd say about...half of them, in fact. Face it, there is a lot of bad music out there. Especially on indie labels. Now, I'd say the best music is on indie labels, and goes undiscovered and unappreciated by the mainstream. But for every such band, there are 1000 who are on indies because they simply aren't good enough to earn more fans. This is just one of many, many such bands.

And reviewer, you had my hooked by the very first line:

"If this band was good, then maybe I'd be writing a different review."

Seriously, thanks. It's nice sometimes to read a review that doesn't start with an anecdote from ones childhood or hack philosphies on life.

stevejonestherealbones (August 2, 2005)

"Compared to the others? Maybe. But that is no compliment. I find that most reviews here are so inscure that they require themselves to find very obscure bands, bands that will not last for more then an ep, maybe a single LP and praise them as gods to somehow gain "music nerd cred" and "discover" them. Maybe some of these obscure bands need the exposure but to cut into other bands to prove your "cred" just plain sucks.

I promise you, the Karma will catch you one day."

you are probably that guy complaining about the yesterdays rising review. quit being a pussy.

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

By name alone, I thought these guys were white power

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

"Jesse is the greatest reviewer on this site."

Compared to the others? Maybe. But that is no compliment. I find that most reviews here are so inscure that they require themselves to find very obscure bands, bands that will not last for more then an ep, maybe a single LP and praise them as gods to somehow gain "music nerd cred" and "discover" them. Maybe some of these obscure bands need the exposure but to cut into other bands to prove your "cred" just plain sucks.

I promise you, the Karma will catch you one day.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

I am very sorry but the fact is he was a school teacher and he did say those words to me. At the time there is no way I would have believed he would become the lead singer in a band. I was lucky enough to catch a show on warped and there he was.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

Wow. You really had a great point up until that last sentence, where you destroyed all of your credibility.

TraumaSponge (August 2, 2005)

Jesse is the greatest reviewer on this site.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

It is very sad to see the pleasure most reviewers here get cutting up bands. I had choice to persue music or journalism and a teacher saved me. He said "go out in the world and create, do SOMETHING". I took those words very serious.

It is a fact, most music writers do not create they DESTROY. Why? Because they can NOT create. It is also a fact that 99% of the people that are drawn to music "reviews" were never good enough to produce any music worth noting. Just ask any reviewer here when he lets his guard down, I have and they don't.

They write like they are part of some inside joke but they fact is the joke is on them. If they took the time and actually researsed the profession they have choosen (read about it) they would find dozens of books from music writers that have fully regreted the destuction they have caused. Many of these writes confessed that they were mad at the world because they "could have done it better". In the end this was they could have taken back the poisened words that are the legacy they leave behind.

I love this music and think it has much more to offer then this guy could ever comprehend.

I am in a band and doing very well and I owe it to that teacher that wanted me to create. By the way, that teacher is now the lead singer in Valient Thorr.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

one of the better sets at this years warped tour.

you're a cry baby bitch and wouldn't know good music if it was sucking your dick and fingering your ass. your reviews suck. how are you on staff?

there are 7 year olds that write better than you.

none of your arguments are convincing for why the band sucks, you just insult, typical of a writer who lacks imagination and a reviewer who didn't take enough time to actually listen to the record.

i hope the terrorists crash an airliner into your moms house.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

for those of you who are slow gfy=go fuck yourself and yes he means it

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

I completely disagree with this review. While not your typical rock/metal/punk whatever band, Valient Thorr delivers what they do well. I saw them live with BSF, I haven't seen a band play with so much heart in ages. Give it a chance or gfy.

the_other_scott (August 2, 2005)

"bring the rock before you bring the antics"

that should be written at the entrance to every stage at every venue in america

it should be the last thing a band sees before playing their set

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

Spot on, this band blows.

Volcom needs to get out of music.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

I saw these guys live a few months back, they put on a great show. Never heard the disc though.

Anonymous (August 2, 2005)

"Bring the rock before you bring the antics."

Words to live by.

OC

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