Randy - The Rest is Silence (Cover Artwork)


The Rest is Silence (1996)


Politics isn't supposed to be this much fun.

While browsing through the used cd section of my local hole-in-the-wall independant record store, I came across this CD. I'd been meaning to check out Randy for a while, and being a big fan of Swedish punk (Millencolin, Astream) and especially Swedish political punk (Satanic Surfers, Adhesive), I decided to pick it up, thereby making what would turn out to be one of the best impulse buys I've ever made.

Before hearing this CD, I'd only heard a few Randy songs (mainly from comps and free mp3 downloads from record labels), and expected a somewhat poppy record. Well, much to my pleasant suprise, this was not the case. Top to bottom, the CD is filled with some of the fastest, tightest and cathiest punk rock I've heard in quite a while. Imagine combining the complexity and tightness of Bigwig or Strung Out (sort of), the biting political and social commentary (not to mention the sarcastic wit) of Propagandhi, and the vocals of, well, any number of pop-punk bands, only with a Swedish accent, and you have something close to the sound of this album.

The album opens with "Snorty Pacifical Rascal", a sort of disclaimer for the listener. The song drives home the point that the band's message is much more important to them than the music used to deliver it with the line "in our case it's only 10% entertainment, the rest is something that we have to do, hopefully we're getting through to you!". They also, however, urge listeners to live their own live with one of my favourite lines: "But if you are smart, you ignore every single word i say...and find your own way to live, don't let anybody tell you what to do".

The rest of the songs cover such topics as the evils of capitalism ("Where our Heart Is"), animal rights ("You're Eating From Their Hand"), the "rape of nature" ("Whom to Blame"). Whether you agree with their message or not, It's always good to hear and digest another's point of view.

Message aside, the music, while somewhat formulaic, is quite good. It's played at a very fast pace and catchy as hell. I found myself singing along with the choruses in no time. In addition to being adept songwriters, the boys in Randy are also talented musicians, lacing some complex guitar riffs into their songs. Conclusion: If you're a fan of any of the bands mentioned above, you can't go wrong with this CD.

So, while the message may be the #1 priority of this CD, the next time you see me walking down the street, I just may be belting out Randy tunes. "Not at any cost, at any time will I betray myself, talk their talk and walk the line....."

As a side note, this album was re-released by Burning Heart in 2000.