Ann Beretta - Three Chord Revolution (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Ann Beretta

Three Chord Revolution (2003)

Union Label Group

Ann Beretta's major accomplishment with Three Chord Revolution is that they're aging gracefully. The Richmond VA band has always kept a balance between traditional `77-styled punk and modern power-pop, two styles that are notoriously difficult to keep relevant and believable as time passes. It's therefore a positive development that Ann Beretta's scaled down the anger and have developed on their always-solid melodic side. Frontman Robbie Huddleson doubtlessly wrote much of this material acoustically, as big punk rock distortion is given much less emphasis on Three Chord Revolution then on records from similar bands.

There's a two-fold effect of the more subdued (but certainly still rocking) feel of Three Chord Revolution. On one hand, initially the music isn't didn't seem as engrossing as I was expecting. It seemed that on the first few spins the disc faded to the background of whatever I was doing. Yet as I run through the 12 tracks now, there's no doubt that this is a band that's had some time to mesh and grow as songwriters. So while not the most immediately hooky or strikingly original batch of songs, they're still quite well written and enjoyable. This leads to my second point, that the relaxed approach of this record really gives the band room to flesh out tracks that could have easily come off as dime-a-dozen punk anthems.

Ann Beretta's best quality is their ability to take a fairly standard punk approach and make it sound introspective and heartfelt. You can attribute this to the band's influence from US heartland rock, a sound they've managed to capture much more organically then groups with similar approaches like Sixer or Worthless United. Even Ann Beretta's big anthemic tracks like "New Revolution" come off with more sincerity than sloganeering.

Three Chord Revolution won't grab you immediately, but given time it reveals itself as a tuneful, mature punk rock album.