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Left Alone - Left Alone  (Cover Artwork)

Left Alone

Left Alone: Left Alone Left Alone (2009)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AllonAllon
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The one thing I hope will never happen to Left Alone is that they'll be pigeonholed as "just another street punk band." Being on Hellcat and sounding an awful lot like Rancid doesn't really help, but their last album, Dead American Radio was a pleasant surprise that provided a great mix of punk, ska.
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The one thing I hope will never happen to Left Alone is that they'll be pigeonholed as "just another street punk band." Being on Hellcat and sounding an awful lot like Rancid doesn't really help, but their last album, Dead American Radio was a pleasant surprise that provided a great mix of punk, ska and a little country flavor that could appeal to more than just mohawk-toting teens. Left Alone definitely have playing fast-paced punk songs down, but where they've really shined has been on the more soulful and somber tunes that have graced each of their records. Characteristics like these have been what separates them from their peers (except for maybe Rancid themselves) and puts Left Alone in their own little niche in the sub-genre.

However, for their third full-length, the band has taken a more simplistic approach to their songwriting, relying more on frantic punk jams than the southern twang that rested heavy on their last effort. Armed with yet another revamped lineup, frontman Elvis Cortez should be awarded for keeping the group strong through every incarnation and also having something a little different to bring to the table each time.

On Left Alone, many of the new songs are very keyboard-driven, even more so than on Dead American Radio. Although it rarely takes any lead parts on the album, each song would have been much weaker without it. The best examples show on bass-heavy tracks like "Bottles of Wine" and "Sad Story" that nearly tune out Cortez's guitar completely but not at all in a way that it harms the performance.

As always, the band has sprinkled a few ska gems in as well, but with the absence of any horn parts this time around, they kind of fall a bit flat. Play "La Pregunta" and then any song off this record and you'll know what I mean.

Still, through everything, Left Alone manage to put together a very strong record that comes just in time for summer. I fear that this album may get more lost in the shuffle than their previous ones (especially because of other Hellcat bands releasing new albums this season), but there's no denying that Left Alone is still fun, and there's more than enough catchy parts to bop along to. Although it may not be as ambitious as Dead American Radio, they still hit home with the newest addition to their long-running catalog.

 

 
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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.
johnnydreadfoote (October 7, 2009)

Sure there are some Rancid influences... so what, I like Rancid and I like this. I hope they bring to the east coast!!! Nothing wrong with some fun 3 cord rock.

oldpunkerforever (June 22, 2009)

Good cd, quite infectious and alot of good songs-oldpunker-

telegraphrocks (June 21, 2009)

Re: Distillers

You know they had a record before Sing Sing Death House, right? There's a reason no one ever brings it up. It's borderline unlistenable.


Their self-titled album is probably my favorite... "LA Girl", "Oh, Serena", "Gypsy Rose Lee", "Blackheart", "Girlfixer"... all pretty enjoyable songs. I honestly haven't listened to them a quite a bit.
The only song I remember from Sing Sing Death House is "Sick Of It All".

I don't think I ever heard more than 2 songs from Coral Fang.

And finally, Spinnerette is fucking horrid!

punk_rawk_show (June 21, 2009)

They certainly have Rancid stylings and similarities.

Album isnt as good as DAR but still not to bad

mikexdude (June 21, 2009)

Allon has Polar Bear Club as one of his favorite artists... I trust this guy's opinion.

Allon (June 20, 2009)

also except for brody, the lineup on sing sing was totally different. and also much better apparently.

mattramone (June 20, 2009)

Re: Distillers

You know they had a record before Sing Sing Death House, right? There's a reason no one ever brings it up. It's borderline unlistenable.

No to be all "lawlz wimminz can't rite songs amirite?" it seems from the outside to be like Tim signed his girlfriend's band, put out their amazingly terrible first album and then pitched in on the songwriting for the second.

Allon (June 20, 2009)

i see where you guys are coming from, but i dunno i still see the band as very rancid influenced. it's not the only thing, but it's a big part.

mattp330 (June 19, 2009)

actually i do think the distillers got signed on merit alone. sing sing death house was really good

misterspike (June 19, 2009)

Leaving them Alone.

mattramone (June 19, 2009)

This band is like a 80's cartoon version of a punk band.

And they do sound like Rancid. Tim Armstrong, in a bid to prop up his ego, only signs punk bands that sound like a lesser version of his own circa 1996. (That or he's fucking someone in them - you really think the Distillers got signed on merit alone?)

telegraphrocks (June 19, 2009)

Previously not caring for this band at all, I am surprisingly digging the hell out of this album.

xIxKilledxJesusx (June 19, 2009)

definitely does not sound like rancid.

almostpunkenough (June 19, 2009)

i must need new ears, cause i'm not sure how this sounds "an awful lot like Rancid".

damn good album, though.

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