Osker - Idle Will Kill (Cover Artwork)


Idle Will Kill (2001)


What can you expect from the band labeled as the most hated act on Epitaph?

The world is a carousel of people who don’t know what the hell they are talking about. With this in mind, Osker receives criticism from lemmings who are determined to slam the band because of their reputation. Kids don’t know Devon Williams (vocals, guitar) personally, yet they feel security and freedom to call him an asshole. Furthermore, some people receive a sense of accomplishment by writing “your bands sucks” on the Osker messageboard, a mature act which must not go unnoted. However, these actions are more of a reflection of the trivial lives some people lead rather than the quality of the music Osker makes. Don’t be lead astray by the “most hated” tag. Although Devon’s cynicism and brutal honesty can get him in trouble from time to time, that’s no reason to overlook Idle Will Kill.

Treatment 5, their first album on Epitaph, was a solid recording driven by honest lyrics written with a degree of cynicism and anger that can be related to. Treatment 5 can be characterized as fast, angry, and snotty. With Idle Will Kill, Osker proves they know the meaning of punk rock: doing what you want without worrying about how people have pigeonholed you. Idle Will Kill has more melody, intricacies, substance, and sophistication to it than Treatment 5; it is not the fast noise thrashing Osker that people have become accustomed to. Some fans have already noted the difference in albums, and if they approve of it or not, Osker doesn’t care; the objective of a band is to progress, not to re-record the same album over and over.

The first song, Patience, Devon’s voice sings over an acoustic guitar, “When were you schooled in technicalities? I didn’t know I made friends with fucking rock critics.” It’s the same honest Devon, with a piano, compliments of bass player Dave Benitez, lulling in the background. It’s a hooky song that clocks under two minutes, and gives a taste of Idle of Kill.

If I had to label Idle Will Kill, I would call it a pop-punk album. However, this is not the same predictable listener friendly pop-punk with meaningless lyrics that MTV has been attempting to commercialize. It’s the same pop-punk in the vein of Dillinger Four (just replace the political songs with teenage angst ones) strewn with lyrics of wit, sarcasm, cynicism, anger, honesty, and sincerity.

The songs that stand-out are Strangled, Contention, Motionless, Kinetic, and Disconnect Disconnect. Contention is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while with a hell of a catchy chorus. Kinetic and Disconnect Disconnect are songs which prove Osker as musicians for those already not convinced. Credit deserves to go to producer Mike Trujillo just as much as Osker. The album sounds great with crisp instrument integration and some vocal manipulations. Trujillo also produced stuff by Choking Victim, which should prove to be some kind of validation for those who feel they have the authority to decide what punk is and is not. All in all, Idle Will Kill is a great album; a must for 2001.