Punknews.org
Landmines - Landmines [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Landmines

Landmines: Landmines [12 inch]Landmines [12 inch] (2008)
Paper and Plastick

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Dante3000Dante3000
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Starting a melodic punk band isn't something I would typically consider a "risky idea". Unless, of course, you happen to be from Virgina, or worse Richmond. Then you happen to have just a little company. With such legendary punk and melodic hardcore bands hailing from one area it seems nearly imp.
iTunes StoreAmazon


Starting a melodic punk band isn't something I would typically consider a "risky idea". Unless, of course, you happen to be from Virgina, or worse Richmond. Then you happen to have just a little company. With such legendary punk and melodic hardcore bands hailing from one area it seems nearly impossible to bring anything new or worthwhile to the table. It's must be an intimidating undertaking for Landmines, and it's one they handle about as well as any band could.

It's clear that Landmines full length debut will draw comparisons to some of their precursors and perhaps not without warrant. One would have to be either dense or stubborn to deny the influence of previously stated melodic hardcore bands on this album. One of the most surprising comparisons is to former Richmond based Smoke or Fire, but it's hard to deny certain aspects of songs like "Making Good on a Promise" could definitely fit snugly in a mix with Smoke or Fire. These similarities should not be confused with "ripping off". Never does the band stray so far into their influences that they lose their own identity. It comes off as much more a tip of the hat than poor mimicry.

The album itself manages to be fairly broad thematiclly, covering topics from alcoholism ("80 Proof") to displeasure with political profiteering ("In Our Name"), to what it's like playing in Landmines ("If You Were in This Band You'd be Drunk By Now"). Though not the most groundbreaking topics, each song is given a unique voice, preventing it from seeming like repeating treaded ground.

One of the main things that catches the ear and keeps the album fresh is the impressive musicianship of the band. It doesn't immediately jump out but over several listens it becomes clear that there was a good amount of thought put into arrangements of each song. It never sounds like the band is just playing the chords or just hitting verse/chorus/verse. Each track has a sense of movement, as if they have a master plan on each song and each chord and drum beat is designed to reach that end. The band never seems to be settled on a single melody or pace, they always seem to be thinking about the next riff or the next drum fill and this really keeps each song moving at a great pace.

Unfortunately, this album can not be looked at merely for it's music. As the first release from Vinnie Fiorello's Paper and Plastick, the packaging must be considered. The album is available in two forms: vinyl LP and digital download. Though I have the LP on order, the copy I reviewed was from the Dropcards.com (the site that is doing for digital downloads with the vinyl LP). There are several noticeable shortcomings of the download. Most apparent is the sole availability of 128kbps downloads. While most may argue the superiority of higher bitrates it is important to consider that this is only readily available form for the download, there is no CD to rip at a higher bitrate.

The other let down is the complete lack of art in the digital version. For a label that has seemed to pride itself on great music and art it's confounding that there is nothing included for downloads. I double check on iTunes to see if they might have an option for a full download with art there and still nothing. There aren't even lyrics included digitally (the band was kind enough to post them on their MySpace blog for interested parties). Though this is Paper and Plastick's first release, it must be said they need to step up their digital download package drastically if they want to not include CD's as part of their offerings.

Disappointing packaging aside, the album is still great, if not full of surprises. Fans of the melodic hardcore genre should know about what to expect and will get the expected, plus a few musical bonuses. Landmines show a huge amount of promise and while they may not be rewriting the book, they certainly have a fantastic reading voice.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThursday - Common ExistenceLess Than Jake - GNV FLABad Religion - Against the GrainNOFX - Self EntitledHot Water Music - CautionJoyce Manor - Joyce Manor

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ifgabeldiesiwilldie (January 27, 2009)

the digital revolution is the worst revolution ever. what are they revolting for???

crazyjoedevola (August 12, 2008)

Yes cause I'm a strange, slow and old person who still uses and buys CDs.

I'm pretty sure this label only releases vinyl (with free mp3s) or digital download so you have to be really strange, slow and old like us vinyl nerds or join the digital revolution schmigital schmevolution...

VictorIkpeba24 (August 8, 2008)

Yes cause I'm a strange, slow and old person who still uses and buys CDs.

VictorIkpeba24 (August 8, 2008)

I want this on CD!!!!

anticoast (August 8, 2008)

Action Patrol! I haven't heard that name in years. Gonna go throw those records on the turntable right now.

canaandrumzz (August 7, 2008)

I don't have this in the mail yet but I have their demos and saw them open for smoke or fire and had an awesome time. Can't wait.

BarleyPat (August 7, 2008)

They're playing that show too? I definately plan on making it. I have a wedding up in the DC area on Sat and we have friends in the Richmond area to stay the night with, so I'm looking good for it.

sickboi (August 6, 2008)

I've been listening to this record for the past few months almost daily. Great dudes, and a great album. If I wasn't close friends with the band, I would have gladly reviewed this. I think the aggressive melodies really set this apart.

And BarleyPat, be sure to hit the Canal Club on September 19th. Their new bassist Casey (from Sixer) will be playing, and I think you'll really dig their set.

-chris

BarleyPat (August 6, 2008)

I see a little bit of BIgwig influence as well, but maybe it's just me.

BarleyPat (August 6, 2008)

Great review Dante. Also, these guys are putting out some pretty solid music. As I've mentioned on here before, they didn't sound that great live w/ Gaslight @ Canal Club, but as their music is so awesome, I'm chalking it up to an off night and look forward to seeing them again.

cloudkicker (August 6, 2008)

Haha, I can see the Action Patrol similarities; the arms, the red and orange. Good catch. Wonder if it was on purpose?

signaldistress (August 5, 2008)

128 bitrate will be fixed soon......promise

SaladFingers (August 5, 2008)

been excited about this since the demo. shit didn't disappoint.

but someone needs to get this out in a V2/V0 or anything better than 128. shady business that. On a par with itunes for nastiness

but still, if the songs sound this good at 128, imagine what they is gonna sound like in better quality?? fucking sweet i guess

didnt princess diana try to get rid of Landmines? silly bitch

Amsteel (August 5, 2008)

Wait wait wait!

The sixth song is a Stem The Tide song, just with a new title. Nice!

Also, I forgot to give a score.

Amsteel (August 5, 2008)

Usually don't like most hardcore bands, but this is pretty damn good.

I thought it sounded a lot like a small band called Stem The Tide who never went anywhere... looked them up and sure enough, Paul sings for both bands.

I like Stem The Tide's songs a bit better, so it's a shame he stuck with this band rather than that one... ah well.

mystereohasmono (August 5, 2008)

Good record. Snag it if you dig Lifetime, Smoke Or Fire, Strike Anywhere and Latterman.

sumwon (August 5, 2008)

Okay, good point about the bitrate. I disagree about a live band standing still but playing well being lackluster. Bottom line: if the music is good then I dont give a shit about anything else.

dante3000 (August 5, 2008)

Merely for its music? Dude, bands play music! They dont play album art! Judge them entirely for their music!

But this isn't a "band review" or a "music review" it's an "album review". If I saw the band live and they simply stood there and played the music I'd likely say the show was lackluster but the music was good. So why should an album be given different treatment? The music is really good but that package is lackluster. For $10 one must consider the overall value of a digital download.

Additionally, as I mentioned it's not just album art, it's a surprisingly low bitrate. As I mentioned this has no CD release so (short of ripping vinyl which I can't, nor wish to, do) this is the best digital version of this album you're going to get. Quite frankly I think that kind of sells the band a little short. And while bands do make music, labels release albums and this album has good music at a low bitrate and nothing else.
-Dante

sumwon (August 5, 2008)

Unfortunately, this album can not be looked at merely for it's music.

Merely for its music? Dude, bands play music! They dont play album art! Judge them entirely for their music!

sweetsuperior (August 5, 2008)

the artwork bears a slight resemblance to another (recently re-united) richmond band. AP->, anyone?

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go