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The Riot Before - Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (Cover Artwork)

The Riot Before

The Riot Before: Horseshoes and Hand GrenadesHorseshoes and Hand Grenades (2005)
Fall of the West

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


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

The Riot Before stomp through the mildly folk-tinged, mid-tempo punk on their full-length Horseshoes and Hand Grenades with a raw aplomb not unlike that of early Against Me!. However, from this sentence alone you're not necessarily going to know straight up if you'll dig or not. Despite the unaba.


The Riot Before stomp through the mildly folk-tinged, mid-tempo punk on their full-length Horseshoes and Hand Grenades with a raw aplomb not unlike that of early Against Me!. However, from this sentence alone you're not necessarily going to know straight up if you'll dig or not.

Despite the unabashed DIY-ness of the release (plastic sleeve, CD-R format, lots of crayon scribbles basically making up the cover), the production is actually just as good as any of AM!'s early EPs, if not better. It's pretty clean, in fact. That, and Brett Adams' smoother but still young and raspy voice leading the charge provides some noticeable differences. Simply put, there's stuff going on here that's keeping them fairly distinct despite the one obvious comparison. A great example is "Plastic Chests for Plastic Hearts," which definitely has that familiar guitar upstroke, but with Adams' own unique singing providing the difference. Throughout the course of the album it sounds like he downed only one or two shots of whiskey (as opposed to the Gainesville "one 40 requirement") and then laid down his parts.

Where things get really bizarre is when the Riot Before lets things drift to the quiet end of the spectrum -- which, even though is occasional, is still weird. It's first hinted at in "The Cheapest Cigarettes;" Adams seriously has a slight Adam Lazzarra-type quality to his voice when the guitars slow down and momentarily twinkle. But let the album run to its fourth track, the 1:24 "Explosions from Above," and that's where things are stunningly confounding; it's short, but it could seriously be Lazzarra's contribution to the next Punk Goes Acoustic installment. It's not necessarily bad -- it's just nowhere near the style the Riot Before seem to hold down on every other track. This outtake-like style pops up again in the earlier portions of "On Tracks Asleep Beneath the Snow" before it breaks into a more aggressive acoustic strum and gravel-sprinkled yells.

In light of really weird attempts at mixing things up (which albeit aren't all that bad, just really, really distracting), Horseshoes and Hand Grenades gets the favorable distinction of being tagged as a promising debut. It's got a good beat and versatile songwriting for such an early phase of one's career, and at this point in a band's development it's hard to ask for much more.

Fifteen Minute Revolution

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You Rock, Rock [MP3]
The Cheapest Cigarettes [MP3]
In Perspective

 

 
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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.
jakethelifeguard (October 19, 2007)

and my band played a pretty dope show with them and broadway calls

jakethelifeguard (October 19, 2007)

both albums are insightful and sincere.
nice guys
two thumbs up

un1tyasone (December 24, 2006)

thier next album will be free on quote unquote records.

bounus!

Anonymous (December 23, 2006)

why does that fat guy insint on wearing such tight fucking pants?

phildisaster (December 23, 2006)

I live in RVA and have had the pleasure of seeing this band on a number of occasions and they definitely are one of Richmond's best up-and-comers. This cd is really awesome, but the new stuff they're writing and playing live is even more impressive.

fritobandito (December 23, 2006)

oh and I still have all those really really old acoustic demos he threw up for critique on some forum somewhere like three years ago.

Brett, when you're famous, I hope you don't mind me ebaying that shit.

fritobandito (December 23, 2006)

I am seriously going to keep yelling at Brett on AIM on a monthly basis until he plays a show here that ISN'T 21 .

for fucks sake, it's DC! we're like TWO HOURS NORTH!

oh, and great album. obviously.

Anonymous (December 23, 2006)

"Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades" is an old expression. GC5 did not invent it. Do YOUR fucking homework.

inagreendase (December 22, 2006)

Score is because the album title is the same as a GC5 album title. Do your fucking homework.

What does this have to do with anything?

jesusmess (December 22, 2006)

my band played a show with them on long island band in october and they were amazing

Anonymous (December 22, 2006)

Score if for The Gc5's EP. This band blows. Someone please start a campaign for a Gc5 reunion.

Anonymous (December 22, 2006)

This band asked my band to play a show with them.

No lie.

JaredK (December 22, 2006)

Score is because the album title is the same as a GC5 album title. Do your fucking homework.

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