1208 - Feedback is Payback (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Feedback is Payback (2002)


I have come to realize that Epitaph has a large quantity of skate punk bands. Well, I've always kinda known that, but 1208 just reinforces it further. But, the task at hand is to substantially argue that this is not a bad thing.

I like skate punk. Many others like skate punk. And yes, to reiterate, 1208 plays, skatepunk. Yes, they sound influenced by the likes of Pennywise and the Deviates, maybe a little Pulley. Hell, I think I hear some Millencolin as well. So fucking what.

1208's debut album, "Feedback is Payback" is nothing short of a big leap onto the scene. Co-produced by Fletcher Dragge, the sound quality is what you would expect from Epitaph, crisp and clean. Its a little hard to critique a band that goes immediately to Epitaph, mainly because one would like to hear more of a rough, abrasive record than that which is expected from the punk mogul. But all-in-all, the freshman outing is notable in many ways.

For starters, 1208 have a sound to build on. The constant tempo changes experimented with show that the power chord can be used for more than the standard "verse-chorus-verse".The song structures use of bridges and breakdowns are a refreshing addition to this common brand of punk. Although these patterns are far from unheard of in this genre, 1208 adds intelligent lyrics to create a mix of compassion and fury.

I would like to see Alex do more with his voice, as he obviously has the smoothness to variate to different melodies. Manny's work on the set is completely on point, and beautifully keeps the pace on every track. The guitars, while perfect in the songs on "Feedback is Payback", could seriously benefit from various techniques in sound distortion. I'm not talking Hendrix's assortment of pedals, but a little difference in the chords and harmonies used.

I have a feeling that 1208 aren't going away anytime soon. I'd like to see more of an evolution in future work though, as they seem to have aspirations of creativity and originality in their music. Its just asking to come out and play.