Ticking Bombs - The Way It Is Today (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Ticking Bombs

The Way It Is Today (2003)


Ticking Bombs have a secret that other street punk band's don't want you to know: despite all the political lyrics and rally cries, bands play this style of music because it's really, really fun.

Based in Fagersta, Sweden, Ticking Bombs has more in common with Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys' sound then they do any of the early 80s UK bands. While this means they're stylistically derivative (mid-tempo sing-alongs with gravely vocals), it also means they're less likely to get stuck rewriting the same Exploited song over and over. In fact despite the band's sound their image and artwork has very little in common with the liberty spiked, leather jacket crowd. They actually present themselves like a ska band.

Speaking of which, there's an underlying ska influence throughout the entire record. While mostly restricted to the occasional upstroke guitar riff, it adds whole other dimension to fairly standard song writing and moves the band further from typical street punk. Given the period the band formed, this is more likely than not the direct influence of ...And Out Come The Wolves era Rancid. My only complaint is that they don't take the ska moments far enough. The band's integration of the sound is fairly seamless, so its likely they could have done much more interesting things with it than simply change up the occasional verse.

The most endearing part of this record is the sense of sheer whimsy that seems to overtake the band. For example on the track "Politrix" Ticking Bombs close the song with group-toasting vocals and seem to be laughing at them while they do it. One imagines the band belting out these tracks with the biggest smiles on their faces. The fact that Ticking Bombs have a sense of humour and aren't presenting that dead-serious anarcho-punk shtick gives them boatloads of personality.

The only place tar is painfully awkward at times.

This is an enjoyable half hour of punk rock from a promising young band. They're playing an old style but their saving grace is that they don't seem shackled to it. Expect some positive growth from them in the future.