No Choice - Dry River Fishing (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

No Choice

Dry River Fishing (2004)

No Idea

Bands like this remind me that there's still something to be said. There's a lot of shit going down in the world right now, and yet so many bands have nothing of value to say about the way things are right now. Just take a look at the latest Casualties album and you'll see a lot of broad sloganeering and dull, uninteresting music to go with it. However, with "Dry River Fishing," UK's No Choice have managed to get there point across while playing some engaging punk rock.

With a press release boasting comparisons to bands such as Bad Religion, Hüsker Dü, and Naked Raygun, you'd better be good. Luckily for No Choice, they do an admirable job of blending their influences into a stellar full-length. Originally released in the UK on the appropriately named Newest Industry, "Dry River Fishing" is proof that melodic punk rock can still be relevant, intelligent, and above all else extremely enjoyable to listen to. I knew right off the bat that this album would be politically motivated when the first track opened up with a soundbite of our very own fearless leader, George Dubya Bush. I was really hooked on this release from the moment the music started,and as the record came to an end, I quickly pushed play again. The music mostly keeps a melodic, yet urgent tone. The guitar playing is fairly straight ahead, but there are different tricks tossed in as well. It's not exactly Bob Mould, but it still keeps the music from sounding too plain. The vocal harmonies are done tastefully, while they make the songs memorable, they're never overdone or tacky.

Lyrically, as I stated earlier, the band treads a mostly political path. As show by this passage in the album's opening track: "and this, your cause of which you speak in pious tongue has one conclusion. You call it just-I call it control. Some games hold fortune. Some claim illusion as an art. This game you play-controls our senses."

As far as melodic punk albums go, it really doesn't get a whole lot better than this. Catchy, but not overbearing, political, but not preachy, everything on this release seems to be at just the right level. No Choice could get even better with a little more development of their song writing ability, so it should be interesting to see how they progress.

If Logic's First (We're Coming Second)