Angel City Outcasts - Let it Ride [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Angel City Outcasts

Let it Ride [reissue] (2005)


Screw chicks tonight man, just screw chicks, I gotta dance!
I'm sure there are plenty of people who frequent this site that agree with Dane Cook's sentiment. Sometimes, you just have to forget everything, and dance. It's the only way to honestly stay sane in this world; just drop all your cares, and dance. Alright, so maybe I lied, and that's really just a bunch of garbage. Rather than dancing, if you feel so inclined to relieve some stress, a good drunken singalong at 4 A.M. with your buddies could very well do the trick, and Angel City Outcasts will provide for that need.

Let It Ride is a rousing, raucous blast of melodic punk rock, with more singalong opportunities than one could ever ask for. The band covers a lot of ground in only 27 minutes, combining strong vocals, versatile guitar-work, and a great spirit that will have you singing every word of every song. The band's energy is nothing short of infectious, and not in the diseased sense of the word. As infectious as the vocals is the guitar playing on this record, which I honestly can't say enough for. This isn't the type of impressive soloing that most are used to on a punk record, but these are obviously very skilled musicians that form a terrific cohesion despite some of the difficulty of the music.

The scruffy vocal style of lead singer Alex B sets the pace for the rest of this record, combining healthy doses of Social Distortion, Dropkick Murphys, and putting their own unique and talented spin on things. "Popeye In Afghanistan" is a song that gives new thought to the life of the American solider, post-9/11, only with the American soldiers being represented by none other than that spinach-loving sailor, Popeye. The rousing chorus going back and forth against the tremendous guitar playing provides one of the album's better moments.
Then from the sky came a battle cry / From the tattooed sailor with a squinted eye / To take down each and every man / Who tries to mess with this great land / Full speed ahead he swung away / Taking out every bunker in his way / Ready to deal an ace of spades with a fist / And a handful of grenades.
It's songs like that that give the album a real fiery spirit, one that keeps its momentum through all 10 songs. The band does not know how to slow down, only picking up intensity as the album progresses, and the music also becomes more diverse, including a banjo in "Black Suits On Table Three." Similarly, the guitar seems to impress more and more later in the album, picking up steam and really letting loose under the thunder of the gang singalongs. It's one long blast of fury that will never let up.

If there's an excuse not to own this album, you'll have to run it by me, because I certainly can't think of one at the moment. This is a great blast of fun that warrants listen after listen if for no other reason than to really see just how talented these guitarists are; it's not something often seen with this kind of punk music. I'll personally guarantee that if you pop this album into your stereo, you'll be singing along in minutes. In short, Angel City Outcasts have recorded something that will do far better things for you than acidy spit, playing monopoly with Grandma, or a trip to the whopper lair.