The Disconnects - ...Are Healthy [cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Disconnects

...Are Healthy [cassette] (2011)

Baldy Longhair

Somewhere between the time of Minor Threat and Cro-Mags, the rock in punk rock became less prominent and leather jackets were left neglected on their hanger. Although the Ramones, Testors, Richard Hell, and the Dictators were the very architects of punk rock, their love of classic Chuck Berry and Elvis faded away as the new guard took over. Now that the rock portion appears to be returning, the Disconnects make a good argument for the resurgence on the cassette-only ...Are Healthy.

Making no bones about their early NYC punk influence, the Disconnects take the early blues-based, simple rock of their forefathers and increase the energy. The band flies through six tunes that just plain rock. While they don't necessarily break new ground, the band executes the style so well that their music seems to be more of an homage to the classics than wistfulness. Also, the "punk ballad" rarely gets a spin anymore, but the Disconnects pull off the more sensitive emotions without seeming cheesy or disingenuous.

While the music rocks, the band pulls some interesting and daring lyrical choices in an almost ambush-style presentation. Although they touch on the classic punk topics of frustration, demotivation and alienation, every so often, without warning they'll drop in lyrics that seem purposefully out of place. On "The Stranger", they casually mention "I'm not looking for no restitution/ I'm just looking for the final solution." Later on, they cheekily quip "I'm out doing the goose-step from Moscow to LA / Just living in the USA." It does seem that the lyrics in punk have gotten somewhat safer than they were in the golden era, so maybe in referencing the immortals, the Disconnects are trying to bring back the form's original edge.

Is the band joking...or are they joking only if everyone else just thinks they're joking? Who knows, but if they stick around, we'll be sure to find out to a snapping tune or two.