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Choke - Needless to Say (Cover Artwork)

Choke

Choke: Needless to SayNeedless to Say (1998)
Smallman Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

When I first got into NOFX and Pennywise, I thought I listened to some of the fastest and most extreme music around. Hey, lay off, most of us are arsewipes when we're young. I can only imagine how arrogant and ignorant I would have been if I had heard Choke's Needless to Say at that tender age. Ofte.
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When I first got into NOFX and Pennywise, I thought I listened to some of the fastest and most extreme music around. Hey, lay off, most of us are arsewipes when we're young. I can only imagine how arrogant and ignorant I would have been if I had heard Choke's Needless to Say at that tender age. Often called Canada's best band (which is open to debate), Choke have built up an ardent fanbase over the years, and things really kicked off with this, their third release.

Smallman Records' site labels Choke as "tech-punk that pushes the limits of musical innovation," and I would be inclined to agree, although doubtless there are some people out there preaching "this shit isn't punk!" or "these turdwads are about as innovative as musical socks!" Back up though, it's not always about sounding as weird as possible, people. Sometimes it can be about taking a tried and tested formula and making it one's own. Choke have certainly done that. This album, for its conception, sounds like incredible musicianship went to bed with mid-`90s skatepunk, bent it over and fucked it incredibly hard all night, resulting in one hell of an advanced and evolved breed...and it's incredibly fun.

When I say technical music however, I don't mean ridiculous time signatures (although there are some great tempo changes) or riffs that sound accidental. I mean skatepunk played faster than reality T.V. stars' careers ending, accompanied by seemingly thousands of superb riffs over the top. There are no slow moments here. Yeah sure, there is a trend in music that the faster songs get, the harder it is for each song to sound different, but Choke manage to pull it off and give each track an (although only slightly) individual feel. It really does sound like these 4 young chaps just play like this naturally, meaning they didn't write all these riffs and then were stuck with what melody to sing over the top. These tunes soon found their way to get stuck in my head (granted, not on first listen). Even the solos are catchy as hell, especially on "Doin' Fine." However, a lot of people do get put off by Shawn Moncrieff's really nasally vocals. I can't deny they do sound, erm, different at first, but personally I think that's why they fit the music so well. It sort of sounds like Blurr from Transformers learned how to sing a ton of varying melodies. Basically, you'll either love 'em or you'll hate 'em.

At 26 minutes, all 13 tracks on Needless to Say fly by (forgive me for not naming any standout tracks; I seriously can't pick any) and to be honest, give an authentically addictive feel. If fast and melodic tunes are your thing, give this one a shot. When music is this fun, crazy and catchy it's hard to pick fault. I'm going to be picky though and end this review by saying this album is lacking just a couple of bigger hooks to entice people to delve further (call it accessibility). I honestly feel like Choke are capable of so much more, even in the face of this greatness...

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
A Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideNOFX - The DeclineChoke - ForewordThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitNo Trigger - Be Honest [7-inch]None More Black - IconsCarpenter - Law of the LandDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim

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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.
Anonymous (January 21, 2006)

Brilliant. Oh yah, it's true.

jbigwig (January 19, 2006)

Hells yeah!! I was waiting for someone to review this album. This should be a staple of anyone's collection that likes fast, melodic punk rock.

Choke's sound has changed a lot since this album, but by far this is their best work.

homie (January 18, 2006)

You're right. Nomeansno should have been on my list - awesome live band. DOA was influential but really, not that good.

SilentStorms (January 17, 2006)

I always liked Foreward and There is a Moral to this Story. I think they are the best albums, and that's considering how amazing the new album is. Although Slow Fade might be the best song they've ever written.

SilentStorms (January 17, 2006)

I agree, Anchors should probably review Foreward (only after listening to it for about one month straight), but let's not forget Protest the Hero as Canada's top band. And they're 18 for christ's sake. That's right, no capitalization. Bitch.

Anonymous (January 17, 2006)

DOA and NomeansNo must not be forgotten bitches. I can't get into this band. Seen em live many times, and it just irratates me. Their singer is sooo bad. Sorry.

...evildeadlalive

vitustinnitus (January 16, 2006)

i thought clann zu was mainly austrailian with an irish singer.

badass band tho

Inspection12e (January 16, 2006)

Clann Zu and Greg Macpherson should be on that list as well.

homie (January 16, 2006)

Best Canadian bands/asrtists:

SNFU
New Pornographers
Weakerthans
Arcade Fire
Propagandhi
Neil Young
Skinny Puppy

Anonymous (January 15, 2006)

the last few records have been really good. dont remember this one.

wyzo

Anonymous (January 15, 2006)

"what does the length of the album have to do with the speed of the songs?"

Well if they played the same songs at a slower tempo the ablum would be longer you dummy! Well, probably not that much longer, but still.

istapledmyfoot (January 15, 2006)

good review.

sallyjesse (January 15, 2006)

finally, a good band getting reviewed. "forward" is better than this album, but i like all their stuff. really unique and intense.

anchors, take note.

rob_rob (January 15, 2006)

i like this album, but they definatly got better as they went along. There latest releases espically.

dev (January 15, 2006)

If you like this, you'll be blown away by "Foreword" - the next release in the Choke catalogue.
But yeah, I used to spin this disc constantly back in high school. Saw these guys live a bunch of times (even had the honour of opening the show for them on one occasion!) and they never disappointed. They can pull off live what they lay down on disc, and once you hear this, you'll realize how amazing that is.

Anonymous (January 15, 2006)

what does the length of the album have to do with the speed of the songs?

Anonymous (January 15, 2006)

This sounds interesting I'll look out for it but the best band from Canada was and always will be The Nils

givemeamuseumandillfillit (January 15, 2006)

I always thought these guys were eventually going to be my favorite band, and while the later stuff is pretty damn good too, it's just not 100%.

score is for the "not everybody want to listen to charles bronson" comment.

BizzleBrizzle (January 15, 2006)

Canada's best band?

Try:

CHOKEHOLD
Left For Dead(Or any other band Chris Colohan is in)
Fucked Up
Haymaker
Career Suicide
DFA
Propagandhi
Grade
To The Lions(pretty new but pretty damn good)
Weakerthans

ALLL better than this shit.

Scruffy (January 15, 2006)

Most of what I like is skate-punk and similar stuff, but I still say The Weakerthans are the best band from Canada, EVER.

thirtyseconds (January 15, 2006)

At what point did I say 26 minutes is THAT fast? I was merely saying that it's 26 minutes long, with 13 tracks, and it flies by.

Anonymous (January 15, 2006)

Oh man, I used to looove this album! I'd listen to it daily when I was in highschool. I'm not really into Choke at all anymore and their newer stuff is totally lost on me, but they still put on a great live show. I'm going to have to go give this a spin for the first time in years.

Anonymous (January 15, 2006)

Yeah. Fuck THAT. my band's demo is 11 songs in 7 minutes. Bow down, bitches.

notatfault (January 15, 2006)

Choke's best album

rkl (January 15, 2006)

rthats about 2.15s per song, with which 5 verses plus instrumnetal breakdown, with lyrics that you can understand w/o hearing al yric sheet, i spretty decent.
not everyone wants to listen to charles bronson

gladimnotemo (January 15, 2006)

13 songs in 26 minutes isn't that fast....how many times do we have to cover this?

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