Drive By Punch - Dear Flannagan... (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Drive By Punch

Dear Flannagan... (2002)


While on first impression I'd classify Drive By Punch as part of the current post-hardcore / emo trend, they completely avoid the melodrama that so many of their contemporaries convey. The band actually sounds like they're having an absolute blast doing what they do, which is refreshing.

With just a six song EP under their belts the Edmonton band shows an incredible range. From the speed up punk of "Raining On Prom Night" and to the moodier indie rock on "Breaking Point" the group covers quite a bit of ground and maintains good form throughout. Vocalist Chris Ruddy seamlessly switches from more melodic singing tunes to quick punk verses without sacrificing any power. The band's three guitarists keep their sound thick and engrossing. There's equal moments of influence from Small Brown Bike and the Alkaline Trio here, as the album juxtaposes between well written power-pop with more ambitious dynamics. They also share an aesthetic with fellow western Canadians Mico in that there's a very unassuming honesty to the band's overall sound.

My only qualm with "Dear Flannagan" is the backing screams don't always come off as believable or necessary. At times they come close to hitting that modern day emo cliché that I avoid if at all possible. However I have no doubts that Drive By Punch will rise above whatever genre categories they're placed in. Those screams have a little bit more rock 'n' roll in them than they do emo, a fact I'm sure Drive By Punch will prove in the future.