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Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago (Cover Artwork)

Relient K

Relient K: Five Score and Seven Years AgoFive Score and Seven Years Ago (2007)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


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

Relient K are not the type of band one could ever really call an acquired taste. No, the band plays sugary pop-punk with an emphasis on the pop, and their seemingly innate ability to write excessively catchy tunes paid off on their last full-length, Mmhmm, which sold in excess of 700,000 copies. Tha.
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Relient K are not the type of band one could ever really call an acquired taste. No, the band plays sugary pop-punk with an emphasis on the pop, and their seemingly innate ability to write excessively catchy tunes paid off on their last full-length, Mmhmm, which sold in excess of 700,000 copies. That album exposed the band's newfound ability to explore new sounds, primarily through slowing the pace down, throwing in more rock influences and a significant chunk of piano.

This trend continues on Five Score and Seven Years Ago, which takes an even greater rock influence into its mold and extends the band's penchant for family-friendly power-pop with lyrical content that is heavily moralized and at times overtly Christian. It's not everyone's cup of tea, and it doesn't have a great lasting appeal, but for what they do, the band does it fairly well.

The album consists of several song styles, but predominantly consists of medium-paced rock tunes and bubbly pop songs. The band mixes it up enough to give the disc a fair amount of variety, and the band somehow manage to make the songs fit together without sounding like a mixtape. For the most part, the group keeps the pop content bearable, but at times it gets to be grating. "Must Have Done Something Right" is a token single that is excessively sugary, even by the band's standards. As lead singer Matt Thiessen lets lyrics such as "We should get jerseys / Cause we make a good team / But yours would look better than mine / Cause you're out of my league" slip, the listener will either have a new away message or change the track before the overly sweet chorus kicks in. Another eye-roller comes in the form of "Crayons Can Melt on Us for All I Care," a 12-second track that merely proclaims "I just wasted ten seconds of your time."

After mentioning the shortest song the band has ever done, one has to take a look at the longest -- the album closer "Deathbed." This 11-minute ballad is pulled off a lot better than one might expect, and though it slightly wears out its welcome (not to mention Jon Foreman of Switchfoot singing as Jesus is a bit bizarre), it features some lush orchestration, and it is certainly one of the band's most memorable tracks. Yet it is when the band sticks to what they know that they perform the best. Songs like "Bite My Tongue" and "Up and Up" are where the band sound the most comfortable, and inevitably where they are the most successful.

Ultimately, if MmHmm was a guilty pleasure of yours, Five Score and Seven Years Ago will probably serve the same purpose. If you didn't enjoy their previous effort, there will be little to interest you here. There are a couple of tracks out of the 14 that might make you reach for the skip button, but if you're looking for a fun power-pop album, you could do a lot worse than what you find here.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Paramore - Riot!Taking Back Sunday - Louder NowMxPx - The Ever Passing MomentMxPx - Life In GeneralRage Against the Machine - Rage Against the MachineThe Scutches - Ten Songs, Ten Years [12-inch]My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet RevengeAnti-Flag / Against All Authority - Split [7 inch]Sullivan - Hey, I'm a GhostHawthorne Heights - If Only You Were Lonely

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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.
PEskater (July 22, 2008)

hate this album

xXDoYouFeelXx (February 23, 2008)

Relient K = LOVE!!!

DeepBlueEyedGurl (June 13, 2007)

I love your music!!!
My favorite is the best thing!!!!
♥ J.S.♥

Anonymous (May 28, 2007)

Calibretto 13....awesome christian punk.

jaxkid1 (May 26, 2007)

LOL at your for LOLing something, tool. Jump the message board wannabe bad-ass trend and post the link to your band.

Anonymous (May 25, 2007)

Hey, genius! The album is sometimes overtly Christian because Relient K is a Christian band - and an awesome one at that.

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

LOL at your band and the bands you have played with on your myspace thing. JUmp the emo trend, way to go.

jaxkid1 (May 24, 2007)

Bahaha at that douche two posts below me.

historypeats (May 24, 2007)

Pretty good review. I was surprised by "Deathbed" as well. It's still catchy, but the band's capable of better - Mmhmm was better in pretty much every regard - and the record's got way too many cringe-worthy lyrics to earn a higher score than this.

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

Any person who follows an organized religion is not even close to punk. The only possible explanation of "god" that does not have 100's of contradictions to it, is the statement that, "god created the world and left." Any person who believes in Christianity or Islam is a dumbass. There may be a "god" or superpower that exists but that power definitely is not answering your prayers at night. Score is for organized religion.

patthetic (May 24, 2007)

1900*

patthetic (May 24, 2007)

1920

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

Soooo "five score and seven years ago" would make it 1929? Right?

Anonymous (May 24, 2007)

Sometimes I wonder if the word "punk" even gets used these days without the precursor of "that's not".

The world is not black and white. Any extreme views are - without any exception I can think of - ignorant to some degree. Any system or institution you may rail against is essentially compromised of people; and nobody is purely good nor evil. By judging someone as not being welcome in your little club because of some arbitrary superficial reason such as the clothes they wear, the colour of their skin or their upbringing only serves to rob your club of what virtues that individual may bring and ultimately make it weaker as a result.

Punk's worst enemy is itself.

feeeding5000 (May 23, 2007)

I too am enjoying this. I never said anything about rebellion for its own sake, although there are certainly plenty of bands/individuals I know who believe that. But, rebellion is a core component...like, what's the point of being a political punk band of you just go, "Yeah, everything's ok." I also think you're attributing faaaar too much openness and acceptance to the punk scene, when obviously there are certain rules that you're sort of pushed into following. It's ironic that right now I'm also "towing the party line"; thye anti-Christian, antihierarchical thing being part of codified "punk ethics". I, however, was drawn to punk because it matched my developing views. Anyway, there isn't really any viable way of completely going against the mainstream, because frankly, people need each other. It's sort of the whole "refusal with a smile and a sneer" thing; you rebel, but at the same time need the mainstream. I dunno. I got off-topic. I'd AIM you, but that's creepy.

fallingupwards84 (May 23, 2007)

feeding5000 - if you do not think Jesus was a revolutionary, you are extremely ignorant of history.

read the Sermon on the Mount.
you do not get more revolutionary than that message.
i'm not even a Christian and i think that.

i believe it was Brett Gurewitz on the Bad Religion dvd who said that Jesus was one of the most progressive liberals in world history. He's right.

Scruffy (May 23, 2007)

That is not the reason Christian punk is punk, anonymous. Some of it is, some of it isn't. My only argument is that being a Christian has nothing to do with whether you're punk or not.

Here's my point feeding (and, on a side note, thank you for keeping this civil. I'm having fun here): Rebellion is not enough, in and of itself, to be punk. Ethics are. Just because one agrees with the mainstream in some areas doesn't mean they cannot also be punk. You should rebel against the mainstream because you disagreee with what it is, not simply for the sake of rebellion. Otherwise, your personal ethics are as entirely contingent on the mainstream as those buying into it. The way I see it, punk is being an intelligent, open human being and being who you are, regardless of anyone's else's opinions. Rebellion just comes part and parcel with that because most people who live that way find themselves opposed to the rest of society more often than not. I don't rebel against the government because I think rebelling against the government is cool. I do so because I believe they are wrong and need to treat people fairly.

feeeding5000 (May 23, 2007)

Nice going anonymous - way to tow the party fucking line. The fact that you have such a cut and dired response, that "Jesus was the greatest revolutionary" shows how full of bullshit Christian punk is. Seriously, that was 2000 years ago, give or take. 2000 yeras ago, not having 3 wives and raping them every night was a revolutionary idea. Plus, all he did was continue a tradition of blind servitude. It's not like saying, "believe in God, and also I can speak to Him", wasn't something the Jews hadn't been doing for about 3000 years before that. Ab-fucking-surd.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

I must say, this idea that "christian rock" and "christian punk" are not "rebellious" is ABSURD. Think about it: Jesus Christ staged the biggest rebellion when he said that he was the Saviour. He was a revolutionary because he was able to get people to understand that God was still there and that followinjg God was the right thing to do. Furthermore, the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church was rebellious because people first had to break away from Judaism, which, during that time, was a hugely revolutionary idea. Christian punk rock is the remebrance of Jesus, the world's greatest revolutionary.

freesandwich (May 23, 2007)

Reliant Gay

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

where is the timbaland review?!?!?!!

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

I need another Relient K album like a hole in the hands.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

Scrufula- You seem to be looking at this with a very jaded, pragmatic view. Basically, you're saying that since punk can't really change anything, it's okay to not bother with the idealistic side. I don't know how old you are, but I'm still young enough to be an idealist. To say that punk is about non-conformity is absolute BS - it is a subculture and, as such, has unwritten rules that keep it cohesive and self-regulating. That being said, rebellion and non-conformity are not the same thing. I feel that I am positioning myself in opposition to the dominant culture, but I am aware that what I am doing is nothing new. As for your point about music, which I feel is twisting my ideas just a tad, you do not have to "reject" the Clash. You can still like them, and listen to them, but they were not "punk" after the first album, once the rules and ethics of the subculture were more firmly in place. Also..."hipsterism" is it's own subculture, and if they want to show how cool they are by putting on the Clash after Le Tigre (who are punk by virtue of Kathleen Hanna), then that's okay with me.

Scruffy (May 23, 2007)

Actually, I've decided I might be more offended by EnemyWill's proclamation that Pokinatcha, the worst MxPx album, is their best. Everyone knows their "best" is Life In General, and the actual best one is "Slowly Going The Way Of The Buffalo".

Scruffy (May 23, 2007)

feeding-
The least "punk" thing you can do is live your life and choose your beliefs according to what anyone else does. If you chose punk out of some reactionary decision against mainstream culture, then you "chose" wrong.
I don't believe rebelling for the sake of rebelling is punk. I believe being who you are regardless of the culture that surrounds you is, something most "punks" need to keep in mind when they start conforming to the punk scene that has become the culture surrounding them.
Bottom line is, you don't know why people believe what they believe. If they believe it because they were told to, it's conformist. If they believe it because they searched their heart and believe it, it's not. There are still places on our planet where professing to be a Christian can get you killed. By your logic, could you be punk and Christian there, but not here.
Faith is about personal beliefs, not religion. Being punk is about not accepting what you're told as given. If you question something, and it holds true, though, you're not accepting it "as given". You're accepting it for what it is. Simple metaphor. If you apply your logic to music, I'd have to outright reject The Clash, as they were on a major label, played stadiums and were and still are incredibly LOVED by mainstream western culture. However, if I question their supposed greatness, listen to them critically and decide they are worthy of such genius on my own, then I am not a drone for listening to them like all the college hipsters putting "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" after Le Tigre on their mid-winter underwear party computer playlist.
That said, I'd never say Relient K is punk. At least not anymore. They sure have gotten better, though.

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

gay-ayayaayayayyayayay. hey, don't touch me there! you're supposed to be christian!

Anonymous (May 23, 2007)

where's the DAUGHTRY review??!

Hey_Asshole (May 22, 2007)

also, yes, while they may no longer claim to be punk...back when they were MXPX junior, they sure as shit did claim it.

Hey_Asshole (May 22, 2007)

i remember when this band had a song called "Marilyn Manson Ate My Girlfriend"...clearly they were fucking awful from the get go

fallingupwards84 (May 22, 2007)

feeding5000 - who ever claimed Relient K is punk? they dont claim the title themselves, and neither do their fans.
they're a pop band.

feeeding5000 (May 22, 2007)

OK, Enemy Will: I think that all those other sub-groups you mentioned are different, because they aren't the societal norm. See, the "average person", or at least that perception, in America is white, male, Christian, middle aged, politcally moderate, and middle-class. Punk is about rebellion, not acceptance. If this were about acceptance, it would have absolutely no allure for me. I sorta came into this subcultre because of my dislike of organized religion, dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a general dislike of everyone around me, especially those who are right now getting drunk, high, and laid. If punk were to accept everyone, then it wouldn't really be a subculture. But, yeah, Evengelism is certainly not rebellious. No matter how much they try to frame it as though they're "rebelling agianst secular culture" or something, having unwavering faith in an omniscient being is the epitome of conformity and, well, submission. I don't have too great an opinion of authority figures, and bowing in supplication, submitting to the will of an invisible thing and a guy who dies 2000 years ago seems more than a little bizarre to me. I know I ramble, and this doesn't really answer your argument, but yeah.

Enemy_Will (May 22, 2007)

(I'll bite.) "Gee, shouldn't Christians also be allowed to express themselves and their beliefs, while remaining subject to the same levels of tolerance and scrutiny that veganarchist* and meatheadcore bands are, within the free-thinking framwork of punk rock. Furthermore, everyone knows that MxPx's first album was both their best and most Jese-heavy."

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Doesn't this band have the same amount of guitarists as Bad Religion? RDRR.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggeeee

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Scott just got pwn3d again. Surprise, surprise.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

Who wants to start the eternal "Jesus-punx" argument with me? Every thread about a Christian band needs at least one war of the ideologies. I'll do "con", as in, "Christian punk is not good for various reasons." I will elaborate if someone picks this up.
-feeeding5000

misterpink (May 22, 2007)

creative album titles really arnt their thing

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

this album is total shite, even worse than their last one. they know how to write a catchy ass song, and matt has a perfect pop punk voice and they're very tight live. but their lyrics are so cheesey, many of the songs are super pussified, and the whole christian undertones like that 11 minute long last song about dying and accepting jesus on your deathbed is super lame.
'come right out and say it' and 'the best thing' are the only 2 songs on it I like, and I gave the album several spins/chances

Paul

ryanrockwell (May 22, 2007)

I like this album, but not nearly as much as the few before it, i love relient k.

DarrenMcLeod (May 22, 2007)

Mmhmm did not sell 700,000 copies, dude. Try 350,000.

-Scott

I guess Reuters got it wrong then.

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

i like mmmmmmmhmmmmmmhmmmmmhhmmmm by the crash test dummies

maverick (May 22, 2007)

Mmhmm did not sell 700,000 copies, dude. Try 350,000.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 22, 2007)

I love this band, i enjoy this cd but not nearly NEARLY as much as mmhmm

RedScare (May 22, 2007)

Eeek, run!

fallingupwards84 (May 22, 2007)

i really liked Mmhmm for what it was.. a catchy pop album. the EP that followed it was solid too.

but this latest effort is not even good for this genre of music.
a couple ok songs, but the rest is just not that memorable

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