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The Challenged - Relapse (Cover Artwork)

The Challenged

The Challenged: RelapseRelapse (2007)
Cabana 1

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


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

Remember that sunny Sunday afternoon you spent listening to your first punk record on your boombox when you were 13 and feeling like the world was right in front of you waiting to be explored? That's what listening to this album reminds me of. The Challenged's Relapse is an east coast throwback t.
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Remember that sunny Sunday afternoon you spent listening to your first punk record on your boombox when you were 13 and feeling like the world was right in front of you waiting to be explored? That's what listening to this album reminds me of.

The Challenged's Relapse is an east coast throwback to the Lookout! Records sound of the early `90s (think Kerplunk!-era Green Day and My Brain Hurts-era Screeching Weasel with brighter production). It's a refreshing listen as the Challenged know that that sound isn't so much about being original as it is just about having fun and writing tight, concise songs. The exuberant "Cost of Higher Education" and steady, mid-tempo underachieving anthem, "Today," exemplify just that, and help put Relapse head and shoulders above most pop-punk band's debut records.

This trend continues with the bouncy "Best Friend." The recurring line, "Ears that listen speak again / you're dead to me, you're dead to me" reeks of bitterness, but the kind of bitterness that sounds so glorious when mixed with a snotty, catchy melody.

The most smile-inducing part of Relapse comes when the band quote Mr. Blake Schwarzenbach in "Blabber": "I believe in the desperate acts / the kind that make you look stupid / that line was how I wanted my life since the first time I heard that song / it made my apathy seem like a commentary / not a lack of pride." It gives you a big sense of perspective on the band and a connection you don't find in many lyrics anymore.

Relapse delves into political territory with "Conventional" and "It's Obvious," which speak to the general complacency of American politics and the expected discontent it results in. "We Gratify Ourselves" closes the album out as a cliché yet welcomed ode to individuality (sample lyric: "We don't do this for you / we're addicted to the beat").

This is an exceptionally solid release and a surprising one for a full-length debut. Relapse doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it isn't a nostalgic look back in time, either. Rather, the Challenged present it simply as 12 cohesive songs that sound great together. And that's all you can ask for, really.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Green Day - ”Tré!T.S.O.L. - TSOL/Weathered StatuesLifetime - Jersey's Best DancersThe Hold Steady - Stay PositiveScreeching Weasel - My Brain HurtsJets To Brazil - Orange Rhyming DictionaryDescendents - Cool To Be YouPaint It Black - New LexiconThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundMichael Azerrad - Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground

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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.
thereveling (October 1, 2008)

great guys, great record

AdamFinley (September 30, 2008)

great record...the singer saved my friends life by administering emergency CPR at a food court in the strip mall...wow.

sporkandfoon (September 30, 2008)

Having played with these guys on multiple occasions I can tell you for a fact that they are not only talented musicians, but really good people as well.

Tudor (September 30, 2008)

I like the record label better.

lostandclowned (September 30, 2008)

when i bought this from them last year, they seemed nice.

CCSummers (September 30, 2008)

the singer is one of the most obnoxious dickheads I have ever met

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