The Riot Before - Fists Buried in Pockets (Cover Artwork)

The Riot Before

The Riot Before: Fists Buried in PocketsFists Buried in Pockets (2008)
Say-10 Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

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

When I reviewed the Riot Before's 2007 EP, So Long, The Lighthouse, I mentioned that the band's best work was still ahead of them. While So Long... had some great songs on it, the EP was slightly uneven, both in songwriting and individual song production. With Fists Buried in Pockets, the Riot Befor.
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When I reviewed the Riot Before's 2007 EP, So Long, The Lighthouse, I mentioned that the band's best work was still ahead of them. While So Long... had some great songs on it, the EP was slightly uneven, both in songwriting and individual song production. With Fists Buried in Pockets, the Riot Before makes good on the promise they showed and delivers one of the best, most politically engaging punk albums of the year.

The Richmond band has spent the better part of the last year touring the sweaty clubs and basements of the United States. They have returned from this experience with the memories of sleeping on hardwood stores and a stuffy van still fresh and working their way into the spirit of their songs. The end of their last touring cycle leading up to recording saw the band part ways with long-time lead guitarist, Garrett Berneche. This was compounded with a broken transmission in their van. In addition to embracing the difficulties they have faced, the band also does a better job of using the studio to capture the excitement and girt of their live show, which is one of the best things about the Riot Before.

Not every song on Fists Buried in Pockets is completely new. In fact, two of its best songs, "Threat Level Midnight" and "We Are Wild Stallions," have already appeared on recordings from the band. However, this shouldn't be seen as a fault. The songs haven't seen a wide release, and they've been re-recorded this time around. Not to mention they're both some of the best songs the band has, more than deserving of a wider release. Those songs are joined by other standouts, such as "You Can't Dance Sexy to Punk Rock," "Capillaries" and "Numero Seven." These faster songs are when the Riot Before are at their best. The band isn't about to shake any comparisons to early Against Me or the fellas in Fake Problems, but this time around they've put a lot of effort into crafting their own sound. Much of this is owed to vocalist Brett Adams' lyrics, which often provide a cynical outlook on life in both America and in a band. This approach doesn't always cast Adams in the most favorable light ("I Have My Books"), but it's this self-reflection and honesty that makes his lyrics so appealing, and perhaps familiar.

Adams started the Riot Before as a solo project and continues to write acoustic songs. The inclusion of these songs could have been a shortcoming had the band not taken the care to bridge them to the songs sandwiching them, avoiding the break in momentum that would naturally present itself between songs like "You Can't Dance Sexy..." and "I Have My Books." It's a good thing they're here, too, because "Words Written Over Coffee" is the best mid-tempo folk-inspired punk song I've heard all year.

If the Riot Before haven't won you over with their live show yet, give Fists Buried in Pockets a chance and you'll be counting yourself amongst their hopefully increasing number of fans in no time.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityOff With Their Heads - From The BottomThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

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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.
devianter (September 24, 2010)

awesome.just awesome. so many feelings.

xshoutoutx (October 29, 2008)

Just got this... SOOO fucking good!

LIQUIDSWORDS (October 29, 2008)

Best release this year

mikexdude (October 26, 2008)


onegirlarmy (October 26, 2008)

Fantastic record. The Riot Before just keep getting better!

MelbourneVic (October 25, 2008)

i dunno, i feel this album is full of potential, like they didn't queit hit it on the head yet, but at the same time its good...one of those albums that mkes me look forward to their next.

llmp (October 25, 2008)

Great album, though "I Have My Books" is ridiculously bad, especially compared to everything else. Almost want to burn a copy of the cd without it just so I wouldn't have to skip it all the time. They're a young band though, so they're allowed a couple missteps.

sporkandfoon (October 25, 2008)

This record is so good.

baseball (October 25, 2008)

This exceeded my expectations, really good album.

CCSummers (October 25, 2008)

Score is for the grammar in this review.

ThoughtRiotAF578 (October 25, 2008)

Definitely in my top 5 for the year. I like listening to the subtle differences in re-recorded songs, and Threat Level Midnight is an amazing song on this and SLTLH.

thesandwiches (October 25, 2008)

this is my record of the year

thestatewillwitheraway (October 25, 2008)

yup, it's great!!

chokingvictim (October 25, 2008)

i really like the lyrics in 5 to 9

Lmnndtlgrph (October 25, 2008)

this is for sale in my distro for like $4 or something, if anyone's interested.


JerryCola (October 25, 2008)

I can see this album being in my top 10 of 2008

Bipedcasserole (October 25, 2008)

great band. glad they didn't rerecord "the uttica stare." don't have this yet but i'll most definitely pick it up.

name (October 25, 2008)

okay, so i hate to be the buzzkill here, but really...

the lyrics to "9 To 5" are a little subpar, don't you think? Especially compared to "Words Written Over Coffee" I mean..."I am not a man/I am a Mexican/illegal immigrant"...come on, that shits just dismal.

i do like the rest though. that song just takes me out of the album a little bit.

notfeelingcreative (October 25, 2008)

One of the best albums of the year!

bryne (October 25, 2008)

Agreed on "Words Written Over Coffee". Score's for that.

nocigar (October 25, 2008)

absolutely amazing. "Words Written Over Coffee" is one of the best songs I have ever heard, the lyrics are incredible. These guys are insanely good - everyone needs to give them a chance.

jake358 (October 25, 2008)


jake358 (October 25, 2008)


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