Yo Ticonderoga - The Disc is Dead (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Yo Ticonderoga

The Disc is Dead (2011)


Did you know that the town of Billerica, Mass. has approximately 40,000 residents and that the Shawsheen River rambles through the southerly part of town? Do you even care? No, nor me. However, Billerica is the home of a three-piece named Yo Ticonderoga and this is a fact that you should perk up at because it's well worth knowing. What's also worth knowing is that Yo Ticonderoga has released a five track EP entitled The Disc is Dead which is pretty damn good and is available on Bandcamp at the cost of "name your price."

"Livin'" opens in a frantic fashion with blazing guitars and snotty vocals that remind me of Screeching Weasel in their early days and just rages along with an abandon that I find refreshing when compared to so much music I hear that sounds so deliberate and overly considered. "New Band, Song 1" is yet another kick-ass punk rock song that is brimming with energy and a bag full of hooks, containing a youthful ebullience much akin to a litter of kittens chasing each other around with no cares in the world.

"49 51" is a slower track with a more rock 'n' roll sound to it with strained, earthy vocals but doesn't lack in appeal as it provides a brief lull from the more spirited numbers. "Fit To Exist" is a return to the more brisk approach from the first two tracks and has that same infectiousness about it. Damn, these guys sure do know how to lay down some high quality tuneage. "Rowdy Rose Seekers" shows a more mature approach with a song that coming in at 4 minutes 20 seconds is significantly longer than anything else here, but it still has that wonderful ingenuous quality that the previous four tracks contain but it's just played out over an extended duration.

Yo Ticonderoga prove that music which is simple and without any grand ideas about how it should sound can so often be the most effective, both in terms of playing and listening. This has the punch that punk rock so often requires, the catchiness to get stuck on replay in your head and just a good old fashion joie de vivre that is almost impossible to ignore. It's not just about the music either as the lyrics are above the more usual standard found these days too. Overall, they remind me of the aforementioned Screeching Weasel plus Sicko, Jon Cougar Concentration Camp and Everready (check out Reinheitsgebot), all of which are bands that, at times, have managed to capture the same vibe that Yo Ticonderoga puts across here.

It's amazing that a band offering up something this good is relatively unknown, but Yo Ticonderoga certainly kick up enough of a racket that they should be grabbing the attention of those who like vigorous and quality ridden punk-rock infused with some snotty pop quite soon. This is seriously impressive and there is obviously a lot of potential that I'm hoping will be realized.

I'm not sure whether or not it's deliberate but comparing the sound from the CD to that on the Bandcamp page, the former has a much fuzzier low end, with bass and bass drum sounding slightly too distorted whilst the Bandcamp version seems to have a slightly better mix.