Time Again - The Stories Are True (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Time Again

The Stories Are True (2006)


I don't know at this point if I'd really consider it a ‘bad' thing per se, but everything that Hellcat releases is essentially identical. Fast punk rock, with scruffy vocals and extremely heavy Rancid influence. I mean, if it works for them it works for them, right? At the same time though, you kind of wish they'd branch out a little bit, if nothing else, into some different kinds of punk.

But alas, that doesn't appear to currently be the case. So, you work with what you're given. In this particular case, I was given a copy of Time Again's The Stories Are True, an album that like so many of Hellcat's others, heavily channels Rancid, but in doing so, stumbled upon 13 tracks that, without epitomizing variety, offer a steady listen and some steady jams.

The bad news first -- the songs are overly formulaic. No way around this roadblock. That's not to say they're not interesting, but it is rather obvious the different stages of these songs. The verse, sing-along chorus, verse, sing-along chorus, guitar solo, then one more chorus to close things out. Not every song is this true of, and not every song follows the same pace, but there's enough consistency with this formula to be noticeable to any casual listener.

Regardless, as I did mention before, the template most of these songs are built from is an effective one. Singer Daniel Dart has the perfect voice for this kind of music -- strong, urgent, and rousing. Once you learn the words, it's honestly hard to not sing along to a lot of these tracks, especially with how catchy the choruses on a few of them are. "Lost in Hollywood"'s simple but effective chorus of "Lost in Hollywood it's no good! Lost in Hollywood. Lost in Hollywood it's no good" is both strong and infectious, and many other tracks fit this description as well. The slow moving, bass-driven title track does offer some contrast, and once the rhythm picks up towards the end, it becomes just as catchy as the others.

Formulaic? Absolutely. Fun? You goddamn bet.