Stabbed in Back - A Portrait of Noise (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Stabbed in Back

A Portrait of Noise (2006)


Barring the name of the band, which admittedly conjures images of middle schoolers practicing mosh moves in their bedroom, Stabbed in Back have compiled an impressive four-song EP by way of Basement Records. The snotty punk rock is not unlike that which bands such as Rancid and the Unseen rose to prominence with, but it also balances the sing-along melodic hardcore qualities of a Crime in Stereo or No Trigger right along with it.

There's not much variety to be found with the band or this release, but they actually don't need it. With only four tracks and 11 minutes worth of music, the most important thing for the band to do is establish a memorable and engaging sound. A sound that will make people remember the name, and make them want nothing more than to hear a followup full-length.

And in that right, they've met with nothing but success. Each of the four tracks is just as rousing and full of energy as the last, with the gruff vocalist trudging over the rollicking riffs laid forth beneath him. "When Laughter Turns to Screams" combines some absolutely infectious gang vocals at the chorus with some great chord progressions that speed the song along in what seems like no time at all. Around every turn there's a heavy but fluid riff and some full-sounding vocals to smack you in the face. "Hopeless Romantic" separates itself by losing the gang vocals and going for a more straightforward punk rock approach -- the terrific riffing and occasional slick solo leading the charge. As I mentioned before, they won't be winning any awards for variety any time soon, but they do change it up enough to remain interesting throughout.

A great prelude to what could potentially be a great full-length too. The pieces are in place, the energy is there, all this solid blast of punk rock needs is more time to run as wild as the men playing it will allow.