I've been thinking about this review for the past few weeks now, questioning how much you should let a band's work efforts and ethics influence a review of their album; should you just focus on the sound of the album or include the other factors mentioned above? Rentokill represent the problems that the European scene has experienced lately: an incredibly hard-working band receiving relatively small response. The past few months has included non-stop touring across Europe and the next few months include the same with great efforts from the band promoting the album.
The key issue I have with Rentokill's response is because they've produced a first-rate punk rock album and still don't seem to be progressing greatly in terms of a fanbase. However, that's a great thing about Rentokill: "It is not about being bigger, faster or somewhat better than anyone"; however, it is certainly pleasing to see a band receive the deserved level of a response. Antichorus is one of the best punk rock releases I've heard in recent times, holding well-established sound for a band only on their second full-length.
The 15 tracks don't present a new, unique style of punk rock whatsoever, possibly one of Rentokill's major downfalls, which was my primary complaint for their previous full-length, Back to Convenience. However, a furthered sound and improved production remove that issue this time. It's clear that Jack's particularly powerful and growly lead vocals are one of the band's great assets really containing great passion within them.
The traditional punk influences such as the Dead Kennedys and Bad Religion are clear foundations in their sound, but Rentokill add a touch of Good Riddance to provide their blistering and blazing sound, backed up by D.I.Y. ethics. Immediately from the first track, "Discontent Industry" representing a starting gun, you're into a fast and loud punk rock album that doesn't halt With Lux's screams to Jack's never-ending vocals rivaling the speed of light. It all kicks off from the very start with the first line, "Are we screaming to listen, or listening to scream?," representative of the band's questioning stance held throughout. "Primetime Killers" highlights the band's lack of ecstasy for society with easy, ska-influenced verses converging into a flame of fury-demanding fists during the chorus.
However, the key problem with this album is that in the second half, interest fades and slows with Rentokill's sound becoming repetitive with tracks like "Collection Complete," "Para Fin[E]" and "This Time We Separate," sounding like a combination of the first few tracks. Within this second half it is the speed that regains my interest in "Z-7110" and the short, traditional fast and fun styled "Anti #2."
Overall, this is album is open to all fans of punk rock with its fast, loud and socio-politically influenced message. It's not a brand new dimension for punk rock, but what is today? Rentokill play punk rock like it should be played with: a DIY spirit and great passion and energy. However, this style won't last Rentokill forever without becoming tired and repetitive, which has become common for many of the bands that led that punk scene in the 1990s. For now though, it's a refreshing change from the stale sound we hear too commonly from the punk rock bands putting on their eighth or so album. This is a fresh injection of energy and passion into fast D.I.Y. punk rock. If you don't understand why Rentokill are one of the most respected bands in the European scene today, check out their touring schedule and pick up this CD.