The Silence/Army Of Freshmen/Split Habit/Suburban Legends - Casino Chips and Sunset Strips (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Silence / Army Of Freshmen / Split Habit / Suburban Legends

Casino Chips and Sunset Strips (2004)

Brand New Hero

Hey all you readers over in the United Kingdom, listen up!

Your friends over at Brand New Hero Records think that America has a ton of great new musical acts. They've decided that it would be in your best interest to release a compilation with four bands whose music has never been available overseas before. Not a bad gesture for a small price, huh?

Let's see what you guys get…

First up is the Silence. After hearing their tunes I can't say I like them. It's upbeat rock music with vocals that switch from melodic to screaming at all the right moments. This sound is rather popular and it's a given that it will sell.

Coming up second is the Army of Freshman, think of the Get Up Kids (pre On A Wire) doing the Funky Chicken with Zebrahead. I don't think that mixture is supposed to sound the least bit listenable, but somehow it sort of works. The three songs handed over are keyboard lead pop-punk jams with a mixture of rapping vocals that feel perfect on a cool summer evening.

I've recently reviewed Split Habit's debut album Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is and I enjoyed it. Novelty pop-punk filled with spurts of fun help make their donation to the compilation so enjoyable. "$100 Guarantee" is crammed with buoyant guitar hooks and an instantly contagious chorus. If that's not enough there's a cover of Hall & Oats' "Lady Killer!"

Finishing up are the Suburban Legends. SKA! It's time for another wave of Ska to hit the scene and maybe if that day comes I'm sure Suburban Legends could be one of the front runners. They play their genre in the same vein as Reel Big Fish, "All The Nights sounds like a b-side from Cheer Up. There are chorus' that beg for you to add your vocals, a horn section giving you a reason to shake your rump, along with tons of amusement!

You could argue that Brand New Hero Records picked some bad bands to present the United Kingdom with in order to show what the States have to offer, but they could have chosen much, much worse. By no means are any of these groups breathtaking, however none are terrible either. At a cheap price these twelve songs make up a pretty decent mix.

The Silence - The Day The Earth Stood Still
Army of Freshman - Get Um Up
Army of Freshman - Spring Break
Suburban Legends - High Fives