The Scarred - At Half Mast (Cover Artwork)

The Scarred

The Scarred: At Half MastAt Half Mast (2009)
Basement Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

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

Before the label's impending dormancy and announcement of hiatus, one of Punk Core Records' best releases was the Scarred's No Solution. Rather than the label's typical hardcore street punk of the Casualties, Career Soldiers and A Global Threat, the Scarred embraced a more traditional street punk so.
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Before the label's impending dormancy and announcement of hiatus, one of Punk Core Records' best releases was the Scarred's No Solution. Rather than the label's typical hardcore street punk of the Casualties, Career Soldiers and A Global Threat, the Scarred embraced a more traditional street punk sound rooted in pervasive melodies and mid-tempo rhythms.

Fast-forward to 2009 and the Scarred had jumped ship for the more active Basement Records and gone from aping Cock Sparrer and the Business to aping mid-'90s Green Day. With high-quality production and a snotty faux-nasal vocal approach not unlike that of Billie Joe Armstrong, At Half Mast is close to having crossover appeal.

If you don't believe me, try this: Play the Scarred's "2009" for your undiscerning friends and see if it isn't immediately assumed to be Green Day. The same would probably work for the catchy tunes of "Vice" and "Panic!" as lead singer Justin Willits spouts "Paranoia, mind control, but what can I do? / There's not a lotta options left for me and you / Terrorism, nihilism, violent warning / Just when you thought your life was getting boring."

At times, though, the band really comes into their own, like on the hook-filled "21st Century Girl," despite a chorus dangerously close to "Nice Guys Finish Last." The album's hidden track is a rather enjoyable punk-lite number employing hand drums, tambourine and a fuzzy electric guitar, all wrapped together with a memorable melody and vituperative punk lyrics.

The band pays sardonic tribute to their hometown in "Anaheim," a feisty street anthem that goes about a minute too long at 3:10 before another 90 seconds of silence leading into the hidden track. "Lowlife" is a slightly retooled version of the same song that appeared on their debut LP, Repression, which is decent but not all that different from the original. The only real dud on the disc is "Medicate Me," which lacks any hooks but tries to make up for it in redundancy.

Despite the bad luck that has plagued their journey, the Scarred has forged on to deliver their best yet on At Half Mast, a catchy and energetic record that will appeal to fans of street punk and pop-punk alike.


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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.
xbat-mitex (December 23, 2011)

It's at half mast cause this band couldn't get it up!

jonnyhavoc (November 10, 2011)

They have a new music video in the making... Can't wait to watch it.

JonnyHavoc (November 4, 2011)

awesome review!

samheaton85 (July 2, 2010)

What a great surprise package these guys are! To be honest while flicking through the list of reviews what actually made me stop on this, was that it was by Glasspipe Murder who reviewd it hahah! Stubs you are a serious hater, fuck off. Glasspipe Murder never lets me down on this site, which is a bit hit and miss for me, because of the variety, which is a good thing really though. Id never thought about actually throwing props for your reviews but nows the time.

The band itself, nice little piece of the old days coming through, fucking pumping record. The guys voice as well as Billy Joe reminds me of John Cafiero's vocals on the Osaka Popstar and American Legends of Punk album. Lots of other flavours from other bands shine through too tho, good stuff. Doubt they can yet, love to see these kids London.

Nyblowhards (July 1, 2010)

i like the early 80s Los Angeles sound these guys have. listened to this album a few times on the band's page here. i think it's funny when people review albums on a bands page. ;)

they were on punkcore sometime before this record. i never heard that record i dont think

i like the weirdos/adolescents/agent orange/broken bottles vibe they have goin' on. hope they continue. i'd rather listen to this kind of sound than most things that get reviewed here. for being a punk site this place has far too many beards which is not punk.

TylerRamone (June 30, 2010)

That guy Stubbs is an asshole! I reviewed this album a while back when it first came out. Check it out.

It‚??s been 3 years since The Scarred have released a studio album, but now they‚??re back with a vengeance. No one was quite sure what was going to happen when the band began to slip into hiatus in the summer 2007, one listen to this album and you‚??ll be assured that the time was spent constructively. At Half Mast is simply the best Scarred album to date. The album manages to maintain the old ‚??77 fueled punk anthem feel as its predecessors while simultaneously making the Scarred sound like a new band altogether. The Scarred have clearly matured as a band in the time between records, as is devastatingly apparent with every track of this record. At Half Mast hits the listener hard and fast, afterwards leaving them breathless and wanting more. Songs like ‚??21st Century Girl‚?? and ‚??2009‚?? are a refreshing move towards catchy pop tunes, living in the same vein as ‚??Drone‚?? on Scarred sophomore album No Solution. These songs manage to provide a break from the intensity of the record without derailing its overall effect. On the other end of the spectrum, songs like opening track ‚??Down and Out‚??, and closer ‚??Anaheim‚??, will make you crank the volume to a deafening decibel while pumping your fist in the air and making you look absolutely certifiable to anyone who may be watching. The Scarred are back with a very well balanced and carefully thought out release that both old and new fans will thoroughly enjoy. The album even manages to grow on you while you‚??re listening to it, making you want to play it over and over without ever getting sick of it. This record is a must have for fans of almost any genre. I don‚??t have the authority to give out stars, but if I did this record would have‚?¶A lot.

mikexdude (June 30, 2010)

Oh my god, stubbs, shut the fuck up.

Stubbs (June 30, 2010)

Dear GlassPipeMurder (Classy)

There is a lot wrong with this review. Seriously, does every jerk off with a laptop think they're saying something new when they compare a punk band from California to Green Day? Oh man, this street punk band has pop punk riffs! Alert the masses, Justin Scarred is ripping off Green Day! No dude, The Scarred sound like The Scarred doing something a little different. Also, about "Medicate Me", are you telling me that the only way for a song to be good or valid is if it has a catchy hook? And you review albums? You did get one thing right when you said they delivered their best yet with At Half Mast (I'm not sure whether or not you actually believe that, but it's a very neat an organized way to end a sub standard review.) I don't think At Half Mast was the fuckin' White Album, don't get me wrong, but it's a really solid straight forward punk record with hardly any flaws. I can honestly say that if I were 12 years old again this record would be what got me into punk. Don't bother commenting back, I'm not going to read it. I literally created this account because your review was so bad I had to say something.

- Stubbs

mikexdude (June 30, 2010)

I didn't enjoy the first song, but this is pretty good!

xIxKilledxJesusx (June 29, 2010)

such a great album. Its funny how theyre doing pop punk catchier than these shitty pop punk bands are doing it today

ExtraCheesePizza (June 29, 2010)

This album rules hard. Listened to the hell out of it when it was first posted to their profile here.

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