The Horror - Insobriety & Insubordination (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Horror

Insobriety & Insubordination (2004)

Signal Path

The Horror may be from the hotbed of Gainesville, Florida but you wouldn't know it from their sound. If anything the band's charging, street influenced, shout-along punk rock sounds more like the style you hear coming out of NYC or Boston. This means that despite the fact that The Horror are quite good at what they do, they're on well tread ground and face an uphill battle to really distinguish themselves from so many similar groups.

There's no shortage of passion on Insobriety & Insubordination and it propels the album forward. The opening track "Rise to the Depths" features some neat interplay between the John Grimaldi and the backing vocalists. It's fast, fun punk rock that sets the unrelenting pace for the entire record. The band calls to mind early Dropkick Murphys at times, particularly in "Voice of (T)reason," with it's almost sea chantey-like chorus. The gang vocals aren't too far off from those on The Forgotten's more recent records, if only a bit less gruff.

One thing The Horror definitely have going for them is their lyrics. While they're not hitting on any unexpected themes (there's songs about alcoholism, class conflict, the punk scene and other common topics), their writing is quite proficient. Despite the sing-along features of the music the quality of the writing never really suffers. Particularly interesting is the aforementioned "Voice of (T)reason," which deconstructs and questions the definition of patriotism. It takes a more inquisitive perspective than most anti-war songs, something we have no shortage of in recent times.

The Horror keep things moving over the course of 8 songs, with things only lagging a bit towards the end of the record. However the band uses their 21 minutes wisely and has assembled a respectable collection of crowd-pleasing tunes. This is a decent debut, but nothing particularly new. The Horror is going to have to do a lot more to stand out from the crowd if they want to move forward from here.