Report Suspicious Activity - Dreamland (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Report Suspicious Activity

Dreamland (2006)

Underground Communique

On the followup to their first full-length on Alternative Tentacles, Report Suspicious Activity step up with an EP full of totally appealing, not completely bizarre juxtapositions.

Unless one were familiar with Report Suspicious Activity, they might be quick to write them off without properly considering that half the members alone should warrant a purchase of their album on name alone.

Founded by one of Chicago's most well-known politically charged punk rockers, Vic Bondie, RSA also adds to the mix J. Robbins who played in Government Issue before going on to produce essential albums from Jawbreaker to Against Me!. If you don't have an album with his name attached, you're visiting the wrong website for your music news.

Bondi's gruff post-hardcore vocals sound like they belong in the pages of a No Idea Records catalogue if anywhere at all. While his vocals/guitar as well as guitar work by Erik Denno provide an up-tempo swing of things, it's the rhythm section manned by Robbins and drummer Darren Zentek that add what's needed to make Dreamland something worth hitting repeat for. The rhythm on the EP is as much as anyone could hope to hear on any pop record, and when paired with Bondi and Denno's work, it comes across even stronger.

As usual, Bondi's lyrics have a clear political lean, this time around turning his attention to the seemingly endless war in Iraq with the bulk of his attacks focused on the United States' administration. If you've got a Propagandhi tattoo and call Rise Against sell-outs whenever there's a pause in conversation, you're good to go here. However, even if you're simply a fan of intelligent and focused lyrics, you're going to be pleased.

I'm a fan of most things that I can say remind me of my favorite post-hardcore bands (::cough Leatherface, Hot Water Music, Gunmoll cough::) and Report Suspicious Activity have all that, but they've also got a beat you can tap your foot happily along to as well, which gets them extra points in my book.

Don't get me wrong, just because it has two of my favorite musical components in it doesn't mean it's the greatest record ever made, and it's certainly a little challenging in spots, but the strong points of Dreamland definitely make up for it.