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Born to Lose - Sweet Misery (Cover Artwork)

Born to Lose

Born to Lose: Sweet MiserySweet Misery (2006)
Sailor's Grave Records

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


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

Liquor? Check. Guns? Check. Playing cards? Check. Down-on-your-luck album title? Check. Didn't think Social Distortion had a new record out? Well, you're right, they don't, it is only 2006 after all. These images belong to Texas band Born to Lose and their latest effort, Sweet Misery. The case wi.
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Liquor? Check. Guns? Check. Playing cards? Check. Down-on-your-luck album title? Check. Didn't think Social Distortion had a new record out? Well, you're right, they don't, it is only 2006 after all. These images belong to Texas band Born to Lose and their latest effort, Sweet Misery.

The case with most street punk albums is you get what you pay for. You know going into the record you aren't to get virtuoso musicianship, deep introspective lyrics, biting political prose, awkward time signatures or instruments you can't pronounce. This album is no exception; in fact, it is without a single exceptional quality at all. What you would hope for are fist-pumping anthems, catchy lyrics and a memorable melody or two. Sadly all you get with Sweet Misery is Born to Lose's approximations of what those things might be.

For the first three songs it is like the band got together and said "how can we avoid being completely coma inducing without putting forth any actual effort?" and they came up with the solution. They decided they would throw "whoa-oh" into the chorus of each song almost arbitrarily, and have them be devoid of real strong melody. By keeping the same pattern of repeated lines coupled with said "whoa-oa"s in each chorus, not only are they dull to begin with but extremely monotonous being clumped together. Tracks 2 and 3, "Salvation" and the title track, respectively, both start off with guitar intros that do make attempts to liven things up. Unfortunately the title song is the only one of the two that is actually rocking with slight rockabilly flair. The "whoa"s continue to plague the album for its entire duration.

Themes the band covers in their lyrics reoccur: dealing with struggle, redemption, love and friendship/brotherhood. For the most part the songs are devoid of remarkable lines, resorting to ABCD rhymes and tired clichés. Take for instance the first four lines in "Paid Up:"

You say opinions are like assholes,
Well everyone's so full of shit,

You say my future is the past now,
Well I won't hear a word of it
Sometimes clichés aren't all that harmful to the listening experience if they are delivered in convincing manner, but Chris Klinck's drunken slur is not very inspiring. When Born to Lose steps outside their lyrical paths and tries an overtly political song in "New Babylon" they are reduced to tired sloganeering.

The band has a few moments on the album where everything comes together for an enjoyable listen. For instance there is the catchy dust-in-the-windish number "Place and Time" as well as the hometown pride / road story of "Along the Way" which has some nice personal touches in the lyrics. Still, two really strong songs in a 12-song album just isn't very convincing. This record seems somewhat futile, in that this year alone there was many other far superior releases in this genre of music. If you're a fan of this type of music I suggest the new Street Dogs, Ducky Boys or Angel City Outcasts albums before you check this out.

 

 
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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.
jaysmall13 (January 28, 2007)

this album is sick sweet misery is an great song

Anonymous (November 18, 2006)

I agree with this review in a way but a 4, COME ON, If this was a test this band would have got a 40 percent in the viewers eyes, unbeleivable.

SloaneDaley (November 17, 2006)

how did I come across as Pitchfork Boy, Ness? I'm not sure they would have liked Ducky Boys or ACO who I mention as enjoying a great deal. Take a look at the bands I like and albums I have in my top ten nothing pitchfork there.

SloaneDaley (November 17, 2006)

"modern" by modern I mean not as directly linked to Oi. You are talking about Bad Religion here. Saying a modern punk band is influenced by BR is like a band saying The Beatles influenced them or something. A clue, get one. You admitted the Rancid influence who are arguablly a street punk band but then when yiou attacked me you chose to overlook that. Just because I don't like some third rate bar band doesn't mean I'm not fit to review.

feeeding5000 (November 17, 2006)

Blecch. I hate most streetpunk, and I mean HATE, especially the pop-punk bands that dress up in studded jackets and mohawks and think that they're so cool (ie Rancid, etc). Some oi! I like, but only if it's catchy or anthemic.

Anonymous (November 17, 2006)

"modern street punk doesn't always mean oi, there is often a pub rock/hard rock influence which the Motorhead comment. I don't hear Bad Religion at all and Rancid well some of their non-ska tinged material is street punk leaning. The "woah-ohs" and chanted choruses are all street punk staples."

I don't know what the hell 'modern street punk' is or what 'old school street punk is. But if you're missing the Bad Religion influence in Born to Lose's sound then you probably aren't qualified to review punk music in a public forum.

Anonymous (November 17, 2006)

"I may be a punker, but fucking hate street/oi punk. That shit sucks (in my opinion)."
That is because you are too busy loving the cock.
This album is cool, nothing earthshaking, but cool. If you like Social D. you will dig this.

Ike_Ness (November 17, 2006)

Good job. You came across as more of a pretentious wank in this review than in most of your other reviews! This band was given an unfair chance because of Pitchfork boy here...

GlassPipeMurder (November 17, 2006)

score is for bouncing souls and johnny thunders

SloaneDaley (November 17, 2006)

modern street punk doesn't always mean oi, there is often a pub rock/hard rock influence which the Motorhead comment. I don't hear Bad Religion at all and Rancid well some of their non-ska tinged material is street punk leaning. The "woah-ohs" and chanted choruses are all street punk staples.

WyldCannon (November 17, 2006)

Neil: You see me doin' thrill-seeker liquor store holdups with a "Born to Lose" tattoo on my chest?

Vincent: No, I do not.

Neil: Right.

thats my feelings.

Anonymous (November 17, 2006)

I don't consider this record to be street punk at all. It comes across as more of Bad Religion/Rancid mixed with Motorhead/GNR. They have more in common with Angel City Outcasts than they do with Street Dogs or anything "oi". I think the author of this review is making unfair associations because he/she has determined that Sailor's Grave is somehow a street punk label when that's not entirely true. This record is well worth checking out if you like anthemic rock n' roll. I'd score this one a notch above ACO in my opinion.

SilentStorms (November 17, 2006)

I may be a punker, but fucking hate street/oi punk. That shit sucks (in my opinion).

Anonymous (November 17, 2006)

Born to Lose...Now that's an original name. Never heard that associated with punk rock before....ever

SloaneDaley (November 17, 2006)

even if I was being conservative in my review a 9 is extreme for this. Maybe I was bing a little harsh but there just isn't anything that memorable here and I generally like this kind fo music.

Mute98 (November 17, 2006)

listen to the guy below me, its a great cd..

american_666_jesus (November 17, 2006)

This was a much stronger release than the review suggests. While it does not forge too much new ground, it is a very anthemetic album and a lot of fun to listen to. While i do recommend you get the new Street Dogs, Ducky Boys, and Angel City Outcast records as well, don't pass this one up.

danperrone (November 17, 2006)

born to run > born to lose

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