The Missing 23rd - Ctrl+Alt+Del (Cover Artwork)

The Missing 23rd

Ctrl+Alt+Del (2000)

Sessions Records

The Missing 23rd were a little-known band out of Oxnard, California, who played a perfect blend of punk and hardcore similar to that of Reach The Sky or Good Riddance, perhaps a bit more suited for the skatepark. I was lucky enough to have seen them live once back in the day, but for whatever reason I failed to pick up a copy of their landmark album Ctrl+Alt+Del. I guess I thought they would be around a little longer and I would probably see them again. Turns out I was wrong; they broke up in 2004 and their back catalog is one of the harder ones to track down. Fast forward a few years and thanks to the magic of online digital music services I was finally able to revisit this record.

Ctrl+Alt+Del presents the listener with 14 songs in just under 24 minutes. It moves at a fast pace; no intros, outros, extended breakdowns or elaborate solos. Each track is long enough to leave an impression, but never long enough that you feel as if you’re hearing the same riff over and over. If the songs were longer or more numerous, I actually think it would be detrimental to the band’s style. The guitars are sharp, the bass bounces, the drums boom and the vocals are more than prominent in your speakers. It’s technically proficient but doesn’t sound as if multiple takes were needed to perfect each tune; it rumbles along with a natural feel. The lyrics are socially conscious and encourage you to think for yourself, but definitely aren’t overly preachy.

The record was produced by Russ Rankin from Good Riddance and I won’t argue against the fact that it really does sound similar to his band’s material, which is what maybe prevents this release from attaining a perfect score. However, I enjoy that there’s nothing overwhelmingly original going on here; I believe that straight-up, two-minute punk songs should always be a constant in the genre as long as they’re done well. Ctrl+Alt+Del stands as a prime example that less really can mean more.

You can check out the record here.