solutions - Before the Roars (Cover Artwork)

solutions

solutions: Before the Roars

Before the Roars (2009)

self-released


4.5
My one criticism of Punknews is the predominantly U.S.-centric coverage: great UK bands such as Cutting Class, Facel Vega, Harbour, Stapleton, the Doublecross, Caves, A New Day and Evariste Galois seem to slip under the radar of most international readers. Perhaps the most tragic ommission is soluti...

My one criticism of Punknews is the predominantly U.S.-centric coverage: great UK bands such as Cutting Class, Facel Vega, Harbour, Stapleton, the Doublecross, Caves, A New Day and Evariste Galois seem to slip under the radar of most international readers. Perhaps the most tragic ommission is solutions, a new band relatively unheard of outside of their native Cardiff.

solutions forge an exciting gruff punk/indie hybrid--imagine Tom Gabel fronting Kubichek! and you're halfway there. Before the Roars was released as a free download last December and serves as a testament to the breadth and vibrancy of UK punk rock in 2010.

Frantic, Bloc Party-esque drumming helps propel album highlight "Sons of Daughters" before soaring into stratospheric heights with the so-Org-you'll-grow-a-neckbeard-just-listening-to-it refrain of "she's back from the dealers and mixing up with the weekend heroes / the white lines and fast lives / step off they'll all bleed you dry." Elsewhere, "Mary Anne (Come Out Tonight)" has the audacity to have sort of GIGANTIC breakdown you're just not expected to hear outside of a Bridge 9 record. I challenge anyone to resist raising a fist during the "I'm coming up for one last kiss / and one last dance" line--it simply cannot be done.

Somewhere, Pete Wentz is crying, for he did not write the infectious pop-punk power chords that open "A Devil Among the Dancers." The bounce of the song contrasts with the world-weary lyrics--particularly "We talk about the things we know / but steer clear of the things we don't / like how to act in situations when an attraction overtakes our hearts, heads and all the rest / I can't be cool if I'm a nervous wreck." Finally, "Young Loins" closes the album in a spectacularly heartfelt fashion, evoking alt-country icons Lucero in the verse before exploding into a chorus of drunken gang vocals. It seems to have been written with boozy, mates-held-in-arms sing-alongs in mind and definitely achieves this aim.

My one criticism is the album's length--at eight tracks and clocking in at just over 25 minutes, Before the Roars seems to be over before it's started. But then, I suppose no-ones leveled this same complaint at Hello Bastards, so why should it be apt now?

solutions is music for the pissed-off, heartbroken fighter in all of us. I strongly urge any skeptics to give the album a quick download, or (even better) come see them with rad Cardiff hardcore band the Good Time Boys on their May UK tour.

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