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The Undeclinables - The Undeclinables (Cover Artwork)

The Undeclinables

The Undeclinables: The UndeclinablesThe Undeclinables (2008)
Europe

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


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

The Undeclinables are not a new band. Well, at least, four-fifths of this band are not new. Formed in 1992, the band has released three full-lengths on Epitaph Records (now all out of print), Undeclinable Ambuscade lived some difficult moments after they released their last album, Sound City Burning.
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The Undeclinables are not a new band. Well, at least, four-fifths of this band are not new. Formed in 1992, the band has released three full-lengths on Epitaph Records (now all out of print), Undeclinable Ambuscade lived some difficult moments after they released their last album, Sound City Burning, in 2001, after singer Jasper decided to quit the band.

So after changing their name first to Undeclinable, and then to the Undeclinables, and after recruiting a new singer from Dutch punk rockers One in a Million named Erik, the band released a new disc this year.

Seven years of silence is a lot of time for a band, and they changed a lot. Of course, not only vocally, since there's a new singer, but also musically. Compared to their previous stuff, which was super melodic and techincally amazing, the songs on the new album sound a little bit darker, faster, punker (if that ever meant anything) and less intriguing. Plus, the production does not help this band, since I was used to their previous sound and this time the music sounds recorded with semi-DIY equipment. If you add the fact that the new vocalist does not have Jasper's ability, but is more straightforward, an old-time fan might not fall in love with this album.

Nevertheless, after a couple of listens, I entered into the mood for this, and I realized how such songs as "Leads to More" and "Another Questionmark" hide some hints of pure genius, with incredibly catchy choruses and some amazing guitarwork, as on the older "One for the Money." The record is quite long, and the 12 songs go for a little more than 40 minutes, showing all the different sides of the new lineup: You can hear the old, classic skatepunk influences (the guitar riffs at the beginning of "Guess Who Blames the Fool" are classy) as well as the new more rock sound, as on "Centre of the Middle," which I cannot stand much. Okay, so the new singer has more screaming vocals, and I admire how he tries to reach Jasper's levels, but that will never work. And I miss those days when I used to sing "About Me" with its three or four vocal progressions.

In a world where most melodic hardcore bands quit (Satanic Surfers, No Fun at All) or just changed style (Millencolin), it is impressive to see how these Dutch boys are still able to release energic, fast and melodic punk rock as it was in the old days, when we all were younger.

 


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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.
damo (May 27, 2008)

Jasper's vocals ruined most of their songs I'm afraid. Made them unlistenable especially with some of their lyrics

XCARLUPANDDIEX (May 26, 2008)

VictorIkpeba24 half of the band you mentioned quit.

anyway i was just meaning : it's good to see a band that used to play melodic hardcore in the 90's is still around, when some others quit. that's it.

VictorIkpeba24 (May 26, 2008)

Melodic Hardcore : Strike Anywhere, No Trigger, Kid Dynamite, BigWig, Rise Against,...

Skate punk : Satanic Surfers, No Fun At All, NUFAN, Belvedere, early Strung Out, early Millencolin,...

If you call Skate Punk Melodic Hardcore, definately melodic hardcore is on the downhill, but that's definately not the case of melodic hardcore a la Rise Against, especially if you include all the pop punk/hardcore trend. It's just a vocabulary problem.

Still, "skate punk" is having a "second youth" especially in Europe and Canada, and Carlo should know it well with bands like High Five Drive, This Is A Standoff, Asado,... (Canada) or Actionmen, Jet Market, Forus, PMX, Hogwash, Skumdum, Pendleton, Straighten Things Out,... (Europe) touring relentlessly in his (and my) country.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (May 26, 2008)

i'm sure there's plenty of melodic hardcore bands , but they're not great at all.

xIxKilledxJesusx (May 24, 2008)

there are plenty of GREAT melodic hardcore bands around today. you just dont care to find out about them.

GlassPipeMurder (May 23, 2008)

plus the logo doesn't make sense anymore.

branden (May 23, 2008)

it was always a bummer they took the ambuscade out of their name. that is a pretty cool word.

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