No-Cash - Run Your Pockets (Cover Artwork)


Run Your Pockets (2003)


A bludgeoning scream, a loud mess of guitars, and pounding drums. So begins Run Your Pockets with a short instrumental hardcore offering. But first, a caveat: this is not a disc for the faint-hearted, not only because of the sheer chaotic ska-tinged hardcore punk involved and the freaky fiendish vocals of Big Chris that have led to the fitting description of "goblin-core," but also because of the no-nonsense messages No Cash get across. Thus, if you consider yourself conservative, steer clear of this disc. I repeat, steer clear of this disc. But if you're open-minded, have some major qualms with society, and have a hankering for brutal punk, then by all means give Run Your Pockets a listen.

In greater detail, on their debut full-length, Pennsylvania's No Cash advocate the smashing of society, the overthrowing of authority, and basically an upheaval of the status quo to undermine all the oppression so apparent in our country. Revolution and questioning authority are definitely the pervasive themes here, making for quite a bold record, played at warped speed. Musically, No Cash is comparable to bands like the wonderful Against All Authority and Leftover Crack.

Another scream kicks off the next track, the disillusioned (to say the least) "Life Sucks," a really fast punk tune with frantic, once again "goblin-esque" vocals, ending with repeated screams of "I hate my life." When the following track, "Wilkes-Booth Style"- perhaps the best offering on the album – is played live, I can just envision the mayhem in the pit. A rebellious tune with lines like "live free or die tryin'" and "together ants can overcome and kill the ox/The only key is knowing how to break the locks," among others like the chorus calling to "raise a fist…break the long arm…sound the drums" and to "seize the time." These guys beg you to look for the truth in life, not follow our leaders blindly, and to not conform to all the prevalent, accepted norms in society. No Cash has successfully taken all of our rebellious thoughts and have created a great album full of obnoxious music and thought-provoking, incendiary lyrics.

No Cash, in true punk fashion, are anti-authority, attacking all the oppressive establishments. Government leaders and police are the targets of the aforementioned "Wilkes-Booth Style" while the educational system is berated in the very "Schools Are Prison"-like "Knowledge Is Power" – well, it's more No Cash railing against police monitored hallways, locker searches, and the conformity that underlies every aspect of school life. The ferocious "Pierce the Gates" features very self-explanatory gang vocal choruses. It's a song that exposes the corruption and suppression of ideas advocated by the Church. They even take a stab at domesticity and the household on "Homelife Is a Drag," another standout track. Meanwhile, "The Lucky Few" pretty much sums up the band's feelings: "They say that we're all free/It never felt that way to me." On this track, the boys tackle racism. On a sidenote, there's definitely a Smashing Pumpkins "Today" lick evident on there. Ha. In any case, another highlight is "Pure Evil," which is just a bludgeoning piece that's hard as hell. And in a complete one-eighty, the finale, "Run Your Pockets," finishes off with a piano coda. But even this nice little touch can't temper the ferocity evident throughout this record.

So, overall, Run Your Pockets is just a feral release from this riotous bunch of punks.