Lock and Key - Lock and Key (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Lock and Key

Lock and Key (2008)

Get a Life

Lock and Key provided a worthwhile sound for several years, culminating in their final full-length, a recent self-titled release with 14 songs of slightly raw, emotional punk that continues to aurally cite a certain influence -- Hot Water Music -- while taking great strides to provide unique moments.

Over the course of Lock and Key, the band experiment with some more driving riffs, cleaner shouts and elaborate structures. You can tell where some patchwork is needed -- the early transition in "Ad Infinitum" could definitely come in a lot stronger and the dynamic between the two vocalists could be pushed more. But as is, it's definitely a solid slab of gruff post-hardcore; the Wollard-esque strains of "Don't lose these words I'll tell you / We all have strength" are effective and grabbing.

Where Lock and Key strive for more ambitious spots are in these yawning, mid-tempo clouds of atmosphere, like in "Underbelly" and portions of "Giving Up or Giving In." It doesn't happen often, but it's definitely some interesting territory for them. Okay, vaguely Jawbreaker-esque, sure, but somehow different. The "Kiss the Bottle" tribute "Gasoline" is particularly gnarly and heartfelt.

The band also show every now and then that they go beyond the personal and into the political; "Moving Backwards" (like [buds] No Trigger's "What We Became" or Shook Ones' "Order Form") is an anthemic piece that rails against the lack of gay marriage rights.

At 44 minutes, Lock and Key run a little long here, but hey -- it's their last word, so they probably wanted to get in as much as possible. Fair enough; Lock and Key took some significant steps here and proved that their songwriting had more bright and original spots than their earlier work indicated. R.I.P., dudes.

Ad Infinitum
They're Not Listening
Need Who Closer