Smartbomb - Chaos and Lawlessness (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Chaos and Lawlessness (2008)

Think Fast!

Bearing two members of No Trigger and one of Shock Nagasaki, fans of the former shouldn't have a problem getting into Smartbomb's proper debut EP, Chaos and Lawlessness. At its laziest labeling, it's strong, aggressive and cynical melodic hardcore punk -- perhaps a little more straightforward and intense than No Trigger, but nothing that delves into territory that's too rough. Think self-titled-era New Mexican Disaster Squad, only less vocally dynamic and not quite as musically accomplished.

The word that best describes Chaos and Lawlessness is 'charged.' Some of these songs might be pretty old ("Kids These Days" even says at one point "the year's 2005"), but they still rip. "Throw in the Towel" is propelled by a moment where throttling drums and gang vocals surge its midsection forth; "Standard Issue" rushes by at first only to break with a more upbeat, melodic passage towards its end; "You Decide" rings with a familiar power chord and a downtrodden, dual vocal approach.

Chaos and Lawlessness could certainly benefit from some more dynamic and developed songwriting, but as is, Smartbomb's produced a 12-minute punk rock powder keg that's assuredly worthy of a few listens.

Chaos and Lawlessness