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T.S.O.L. - Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads (Cover Artwork)

T.S.O.L.

T.S.O.L.: Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free DownloadsLife, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads (2009)
Hurley

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

T.S.O.L. is a legendary band by any standard and nothing can change that. But what a lot of people seem to forget is that a form of the band put out a small library of mediocre-to-bad records in the 1980s and early `90s without Jack Grisham: Wham, bam, no thank you, Ma'am. So before flinging about a.


T.S.O.L. is a legendary band by any standard and nothing can change that. But what a lot of people seem to forget is that a form of the band put out a small library of mediocre-to-bad records in the 1980s and early `90s without Jack Grisham: Wham, bam, no thank you, Ma'am. So before flinging about any standard volleys of internet critique, let's all heave a sigh of content that the name T.S.O.L. is in the right hands. And that they're still making good music. And that they're giving it away for free.

This whole "free-music-via-corporate-sponsors" scheme that acts like Pennywise and now T.S.O.L. are experimenting with is quite the conundrum. On the one hand, it could be argued that such a move is the epitome of selling out to corporate behemoths. However, much can be said about the bands' willingness to offer up their music to fans free of charge, especially given this time of uncertainty in the music industry. And in T.S.O.L.'s case, Hurley has been a cornerstone of Southern California's skate and surf community for over a decade so it makes it a little easier to swallow (even if it is now owned by Nike).

The curiously but appropriately titled Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads is a slicker, more finely-tuned continuation of their last proper studio full-length, 2003's Divided We Stand. The horror-punk pioneers re-emerge with "Come Into My Nightmare," a rock and roll romp that proves 30 years of T.S.O.L. hasn't slowed them down at all. Those familiar with charismatic frontman Jack Grisham's outrageous narratives in the 2006 documentary film American Hardcore will find amusement in "She's Got a Bomb," which finds Grisham on the opposite end of an explosive acquaintance. The band dips into its first foray of a more cinematic approach on the album with "The Pain That We Go Through," a loungey, multi-layered pop tune that bears some of Grisham's finest crooning between bars of subtle, creepy whispering and a tempo roughly half that of the rest of the album. The drum-dominated punk rock of "We're Together" gets things back to speed immediately before the album's catchiest song "Go to Bed Sleepy" seems to channel the hooks of the band's early days, as does the following track "Love That Mess." "Someone Like You" is a classic T.S.O.L. mid-tempo rocker with atmospheric keyboards floating freely and some of the album's smoothest vocal stylings that closes out the effort in fine form.

So T.S.O.L. has made another great album and made it available for free. Now everybody go buy a pair of Hurley surf shorts. Summer is just around the corner.

 

 
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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.
CountDruckula (January 21, 2012)

I agree, I love Disappear

rrr (March 15, 2009)

I agree the production isnt that good at all compared to the Thom Wilson stuff. It feels really dry/digital. BUT The songs are all top notch TSOL. Give it a few more listens, it really does grow on you.

danperrone (March 15, 2009)

and to be fair, if you look at the reviews tab, of the most recent album reviews i've done (all dated between 2006 and 2007 - 13 in all), 6 of them were less than a 7/10.

danperrone (March 15, 2009)

"Also dan, I looked at the first page of your review list:

http://www.punknews.org/review/writer/Dan Perrone

You've given more 8-10 stars than GlassPipeMurder or anyone else."

yes. i realize that. and so i stopped.

wyzo (March 14, 2009)

I like beneath the shadows and oddly enough, 'change today?' very much.

I could never get into the horror-punk thing.

Jack's side bands that recorded records that never got full release were soooo good. The Gentlemen jack grisham sequence found their way onto that bizarre joykiller compilation ready, sexed, go, but it wasn't all of the songs that had been floating around with that title, and he had another "solo"-ish record that was super called Dear No One.

If you can find the song, "Once Had A Face" it's really good and has a pretty killer harmonica wail melody.

The Joykiller's last 2 records we're amazing too.

-w

ChrisRogueNation (March 14, 2009)

TSOL is one of my all-time favorite bands and I do like this album. The problem I have with it is the production. Their old producer Thom Wilson did a great job with their first album ("Disappear") since reuniting. I wasn't as happy with the production on "Divided We Stand", but it didn't underwhelm the album the way I feel the production on their latest one does. So, if we could only get Thom Wilson to remix their new album then I think more people would like it a lot better. I know I would.

mikexdude (March 14, 2009)

Also dan, I looked at the first page of your review list:

http://www.punknews.org/review/writer/Dan Perrone

You've given more 8-10 stars than GlassPipeMurder or anyone else.

mikexdude (March 14, 2009)

"is every goddamn review in the top three every week going to get at least a 7/10? christ almighty...

this is what happens when you have too many reviewers on one site. people gravitate towards reviewing things they like. therefore the curve is destroyed, and it's bullshit."

There are so many bands putting out music, that they can't all be classics or can't all be utter shit; 7/10 is an average score and is given to the average band that submits something decent. Most music is not going to be so polar to either direction.

Also, I think user submitions are more inclined to review something they "like." If you look at the ratio of users who submit high scores to staff reviewers who submit high scores, the former will definitely be a higher amount -- they have no obligation (you were also sent music too, right, which usually is towards the bottom of the list).

Bands with more experience and popularity generally create higher scoring records for whatever reason.

blindbubbacheeks (March 14, 2009)

I'd rather light my dick on fire than listen to this again.

danperrone (March 14, 2009)

is every goddamn review in the top three every week going to get at least a 7/10? christ almighty...

this is what happens when you have too many reviewers on one site. people gravitate towards reviewing things they like. therefore the curve is destroyed, and it's bullshit.

JayTee (March 14, 2009)

This album is pretty decent. Anyone who says otherwise obviously has never heard Beneath That Shadows or The Joykiller's stuff.

GlassPipeMurder (March 14, 2009)

Seriously terrible album. I really don't understand this review at all. Beneath the Shadows is a fantastic album. Get that one instead.

Musically, this is one of TSOL's best. i'm sure they could have just made another Divided We Stand if they'd wanted to, but I'd imagine a band 25 years into existence likes to change things up a little bit(?)

hooges (March 13, 2009)

I really don't like this album. I think it might be the worst TSOL album I've heard in quite awhile.

(And I love REVENGE!)

mikexdude (March 13, 2009)

Free Down? I don't get it.

halfcutskeleton (March 13, 2009)

I'm a fan of TSOL, but this album is bad. I liked all the old classic Jack Grisham stuff and the last 2 albums are great. This was just bad. The cover art was terrible as well. I wanted to like this one.

BrandonSideleau (March 13, 2009)

I have listened to it only once and it didn't grab me....it didn't sound bad, just not as good as the last two. I will try again a couple times and see if this changes.....its possible it could...since it took me 4 times through the new Damned album to get into it....but now I love it.

soundforlanguage (March 13, 2009)

I love T.S.O.L., but that cover art is straight up cheese....

Einrobstein (March 13, 2009)

Seriously terrible album. I really don't understand this review at all. Beneath the Shadows is a fantastic album. Get that one instead.

rob-o (March 13, 2009)

I wish I could live under the rocks you fuckers live under hahaha

rob-o (March 13, 2009)

Haha, "BUY THIS RECORD". Irony.

Fuck tha haters, this shit always sounds good in my stereo.

JerryCola (March 13, 2009)

This album is terrible.

I don't know what happened because Disappear and Divided We Stand are good albums.

I guess the only positive thing I can say about this album is that at least I didn't have to pay for it.

wallofyouth (March 13, 2009)

illegality aside, i rarely download music for this reason:

i got this the day it came out and immediately forgot that it existed ... it just fell into a sea of folders and never came back. i will listen again.

score is for ?

xote (March 13, 2009)

I used to love this band. Will check out but not holding my breathe for it to be all that good.

hellxblazer (March 13, 2009)

This album is absolutely GOD-AWFUL. I've never heard such crap in my life. Jesus.

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