Civil War Rust - Help Wanted (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Civil War Rust

Help Wanted (2015)

Def Cow Records / Say-10

The Bay Area has been producing some very remarkable punk rock for decades -- Rancid, toyGuitar, Dead Kennedys, Operation Ivy, Dead To Me and a whole lot more. Oakland’s Civil War Rust also belongs on that long list of great NorCal punk bands especially now that they have released their second album Help Wanted.

This album is melodic punk done right. It has ten tracks that are filled with big, sing-a-long choruses that get will get pop punkers more than enthused. These catchy choruses appear through out most of the album, but most notably in the tracks “Bart Cards and Broken Hearts,” “Riverside,” and “Upside Down.”

“Bart Cards and Broken Hearts” is one of the more aggressive songs on Help Wanted. It starts out with a very in-your-face guitar chord progression right off the bat and later on there are some great gang vocals that sing “Na Na Na’s” in the pre-chorus. But what makes this band certainly stand out is their lead vocal arrangement. The “cleaner” vocalist and the raspier/gruffer vocalist take turns singing lines during the chorus. It is sort of the band’s own twist on what The Lawrence Arms do with their vocals, but its just done not as constantly as them. The lyrics are also cleverly written. The title of this track clearly lets you know that this is a “love lost” kind of a tune. But the lyrics are not your run-of-the-mill break up lyrics. Lines like, “I’m not poetic, I’m pathetic/ She’ll never say it/ But I can see it her eyes/ She’ll never look at me the same again” show quite a bit of self-loathing and self-disgust instead sadness and loneliness.

Civil War Rust has definitely got something good going here. Fans of The Copyrights, Success, and  perhaps even Red City Radio will most likely enjoy this album. Civil War Rust’s sounds falls somewhere within that group of bands. Help Wanted is very fun record and it is more than a solid effort for a second full-length. The songs on this album will easily get the crowd screaming the lyrics  at the tops of their lungs at their live performances. 

You can check this album out here.