“LISTEN, NAZI, NEVER AGAIN!”
This rally cry is as powerful as anything Thomas Barnett has ever shouted over the blaring roar of his brand of punk rock.
If Donald Trump has given us nothing else positive during his tenure of presidency thus far it’s this emotional, politically charged music, inspired by his madness, from those within the punk rock community. Corruption, lies, war and death have always made for compelling music. Not that this record is aimed entirely at the current administration.
The title of Great Collapse’s sophomore LP, “Neither Washington, Nor Moscow… Again”, seems to be a play on The Redskins 1986 album, “Neither Washington, Nor Moscow”. The Redskins were a powerful, though short lived, anti conservative band in their own right. “Think the Jam, the Clash, the Specials, Dexy’s, The Fall and the Supremes all rolled into one,” according to an online retrospective review.
Former Strike Anywhere singer, Thomas Barnett, has never shied away from spewing his political ideals over a punk rock soundtrack. Strike Anywhere released 4 amazing studio albums and a handful of EP’s but has yet to release anything new since their acoustic record in 2012. Thank the lords then for his side project super group of sorts, Great Collapse, which boasts a strong punk rock pedigree. Barnett is joined by current/former members of Rise Against, Set Your Goals, Death By Stereo and Love Equals Death for their second full length.
On the bands latest outing, written over the course of a summer, they continue to follow that melodic hardcore path that some of their previous bands blazed, peppered with Barnett’s in your face anti racist, anti war, anti piece of shit social commentary. Barnett has never been one to mince words and this release is no different.
“A Tale of Two Cities” begins with just Barnett shouting “like the dog’s of Western culture!” When the rest of the band kicks in things take off, setting the tone for the rest of the record. “Who Makes?” ends with the aforementioned “LISTEN, NAZI, NEVER AGAIN” chant seguing into “Atomic Calendar” making for an incredibly potent and moving moment, which is the crux of this record. We see what the government is doing and we won’t take it anymore is a central message at play here. Musically speaking, there are still a few of those poppier moments on this record but they work alongside the faster cuts helping each other shine in their respective moments. “Colony Blackout” sees the band enter new territory with a somber acoustic intro before kicking you in the face with that melodious, pummeling punk rock making it a stand out on the record. It’s this acoustic intro that that helps break up the monotony of the record. While “Neither Washington…” is a fantastic outing by a band that seems to have finally found their groove as a cohesive unit the songs tend to blend about halfway through the record. Each song is powerful in it’s own right but it’s a heavy subject matter sung to songs that tend to sound similar which has always plagued this brand of punk rock.
This is hands down the best release thus far by Great Collapse though moving forward it would be exciting to see them challenge themselves and the listener by switching things up musically here and there a la the Colony Blackout intro. Lyrically speaking, Barnett is on top of his game here, really picking at the scab of America. This is something everyone can relate to no matter which country you reside in. This is a terrifying yet fascinating time to be alive and it’s great to see someone another band from the punk rock community take the bullhorn and shout out what everyone is thinking over an amazing punk rock soundtrack.