The Havoc - Our Rebellion Has Just Begun (Cover Artwork)

The Havoc

Our Rebellion Has Just Begun (2003)

Punk Core

This is a great album if only for the unbelievably powerful and affecting one-two punch of "We're All to Blame" and "Worthless Words". No, but seriously, The Havoc's entire debut full-length is sick - it's tough, manic, hard-as-hell, rabble-rousing, defiant punk. Speaking of which, their sound is comparable to Defiance, Varukers, A Global Threat, and The Unseen.

Our Rebellion Has Just Begun is comprised of anthemic punk with gang vocal choruses that make you want to raise your fist in the air. Just see "Never Say Never", "Nothing to Prove" with its collective cries of "We won't take it, no we won't take it!," and "Another Cause", to name a few. Each track - well, especially the first nine - has an overt sense of urgency, not only because of the breakneck speed, blistering guitars, pulverizing drums, and driving bass, but also because of the feral, hectic vocals that really add to the immediacy.

The Havoc, who formed in 2001 and have previously released the four-song EP "Who's Gonna Die?", touch on a few themes here, including the uselessness of the waste of life as on the opener "Death Comes Fast", the superb anti-drug scorcher "Live or Die", and "More Than This", as well as rebellion like in the last two songs "Cause for Rebellion", which goes directly into "Another Cause", in turn mirroring the lyrical and thematic continuity between the two. However, the truly pervasive idea on this record is about being yourself and individuality - not caring what others think of you, which of course is the greatest principle of punk. The Havoc also hint at their spirituality as on "More Than This" and "Never Say Never", where they claim, "Even when we found God you never trusted us." And of course we get a stab at the political climate with the anti-war sentiments of "Selective Service", during which pleading echoes of "Don't brainwash me" ring through.

The final three songs stray a bit from the sheer brutality evident on the preceding nine tracks. They're (slightly) more sedate - not as hard or fast - but still feature vocals full of earnest conviction. It's just too bad The Havoc didn't make the CBGBs show supporting The Threats in July. They probably play a killer live set.