Pegboy - Strong Reaction (Cover Artwork)


Strong Reaction (1991)


I'd just like to start off by saying that I'm surprised that there isn't already a review on here, as Pegboy are the sort of band that would appeal to most people on Punknews. Anyway, this review is going to be short and sweet, somewhat like the album.

The album, and the band, hailing from Chicago, were a huge influence on many artists (Tim McIlrath and Matt Skiba have stated to be big fans), due to its groundbreaking sound. Straight-forward, powerful and catchy. The album starts with the title track, which is pretty much a moody kick in the face; featuring powerful, rolling drums coupled with aggressive yet melodic singing and simplistic guitar and bass.

Some of the songs have much more of a pop-punk feel, such as "Not What I Want," "Superstar," "Time Again" and a personal favourite, "Field Of Darkness" (which was covered by Matt Skiba on the 2006 World I Know: Tribute To Pegboy album). This debut album seems to borrow a lot from Naked Raygun, Pegboy's guitarist John Haggerty's ex-band, but adds a much more polished, powerful, and manages to retain Naked Raygun's melodic elements.

Strong Reaction (along with the Pegboy's later releases) laid the groundwork for the melodic yet abrasive punk of the 1990s, and also influenced many bands of the Chicago scene (notably Rise Against and Alkaline Trio, as stated above). All of the songs last under three minutes, and are a powerful blast of simplistic, effective songwriting. The album embraces the early punk ethic of making something simple, and yet stands out above so many other albums of its genre. It seems to be one of those albums that goes unnoticed but has a seemingly silent influence on a massive number of artists.