Broken Bones may very well be the most influential band to punk and hardcore that you’ve never heard before. They don’t get the recognition of any of the punk and hardcore heavyweights of the 1980s, but they damn sure deserve it. Everything about F.O.A.D. displays a band flying by the seat of their pants and creating some of the most raucous punk rock the world had ever heard.
This re-issue of their 1987 classic sounds just as intense and just as anthemic now as ever before -- 20 songs of pure, unadulterated grit and ‘fuck you’ attitude that does not let up. Broken Bones were one of the first bands to start crossing over the worlds of metal, hardcore, and punk, as their extremely aggressive sound required something that wasn’t done being a lot at the time. It’s quite clear from these recordings that this was one four-piece that was not at all content with the status quo.
The bratty vocals came from a man affectionately known as Nobby, and this rousing delivery knew no speed other than full ahead. Not slowing for so much as a second, he and the rest of the band blaze through these songs with a toughness and a precision as impressive now was 20 years ago.
Where the band excelled most, though, was mixing that rough-and-tumble punk attitude with some extremely impressive metal riffing. Mixing those two elements wasn’t something that was at all prevalent during the time, but the band attacked these songs as if they’d been doing it for 20 years running. The distorted riffs of songs like “Kick Down the Doors” often had to make way for the solos that would often inject some new life into the already energetic sound. This particular solo came after a quick bass bridge and lit a proverbial fire under the band as during the solo, the drums intensified and so did the rhythm underneath to create an even faster and harder sound than was already being played. Once Nobby’s vocals re-entered the fold things slowed back to the previous pace, but kept a fevered pitch of intensity that carried into the buzzing dissonance and shout-alongs of “Teenage Kamikaze.” This time the solo comes about halfway through and is followed by a repeated chorus before the track abruptly cuts off. Broken Bones are able to switch the song lengths and structures up with ease, all the while keeping the volume at 11 and the intensity at three times that.
This re-release also features 10 live tracks that give a great window into how the band performed live. As you might have guessed, they don’t lose a step, if anything, actually kicking the energy up a few more notches to really make a statement.
They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, much to not only my dismay but the dismay of anyone who likes their punk rock as angry and full of vigor as humanly possible. Broken Bones had what it took to get that done in every facet of their songwriting, and this record is their testament.