Belvedere - The Revenge of the Fifth (Cover Artwork)

Belvedere

The Revenge of the Fifth (2016)

Bird attack records


When I think of Belvedere I think of lightening fast punk beats, technical riffs, and one of my favorite skate-punk bands of that time period. Angels Live In My Town, and ‘Twas Hell Said Former Child are both records I listened to and enjoyed in a big way during the early 00’s. That being said, I will still throw them on from time to time, but for people that may have missed the bands existence during their hay day, the records may sound dated, particularly in the production department. When I read that Belvedere were not only playing shows again, they were writing new music and releasing a new record after a 12 year absence, I will admit I had some reservations as to how the band may have aged, but was intrigued nonetheless. I mean, after all it’s not everyday one of your favorite Canadian skate-punk quartet comes back from the grave. (Although now that I think of it, it would make a good Simpsons Halloween episode, eh?)

I will begin with my initial misgivings and questions about The Revenge of the Fifth; would Belvedere live up to the expectations they left with Fast Forward Eats The Tape over a decade ago? Would they be four men trying to relive the past with a dated sounding punk rock record? Would they try a modern sound and weaken the legacy Belvedere had left for those who love fast skate punk? With my first listen I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was very stoked to find that Belvedere of 2016 were up to the challenge, and produced an awesome new record.

The Revenge of the Fifth is a great, well-rounded punk rock album. Belvedere managed to craft a new record that is still the same Belvedere I loved years ago, but with a well placed modern influence, mostly in the melody department, as well as a clean and updated production quality to help set it all off. The music is still very fast, which is important for this style of punk rock, but vocalist Steve Rawles has done a great job of keeping the songs catchy and memorable. “Delicastressin” is a stand out example; the song keeps a quick pace throughout with a great chorus that sticks in your head long after the song has finished. The song writing on The Revenge of the Fifth has matured with the band members and is some of the strongest material the band has released to date. It is always a good sign when it is tough to pick a favorite track.

Belvedere has done an awesome job of taking the speed of skate punk, musicianship of a metal band, and the choruses of pop punk and has created a very well put together, and enjoyable record. The Revenge of the Fifth has some of the most impressive drumming and guitar work I have heard this year. Simply put, 12 years later and Belvedere still rip. Fans of fast punk rock take note, skate punk like this doesn’t come around every day, and sometimes it takes over a decade.