WordPress cover photo by https://www.facebook.com/punkrockradio.ca/
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Format: Digital & Physical
Location: San Francisco, CA
Album Info – (Per Bandcamp)
Band Members –
Clinton Smith (Noless)/ Vocals
Sasha Mereu/lead guitar,Vocals
George Spooner (Renoops)Guitar,Vocals
Rod (R2) Bass
Jason Devore, Dave Pederson, Leland Fallon,
Tracy Labrie. Rob Rover Rushing, Chris Joyce
Production – (Per Bandcamp)
Recorded by Danny Tuggle and Mixed by Russell Artega. Mastered by Vincent Coté. Artwork and layout by Sterio Design.
Record Label – Thousand Islands Records
Favorite Tracks: Running Out Of Time, Demons, Cool Kids Club, Frolic In The Darkness, Please Don’t Crash and Change The Frequency
Sounds Like: Lagwagon, NOFX, The Shell Corporation, These Roving Years, The Pollution, Descendents, No Use For A Name, Suicidal Tendencies, and Authority Zero
Apparently Facebook is down and the entire world has gone mad. It’s likely you won’t even see this review until it comes back. I guess I’m out of the Cool Kids Club until Facebook comes back online. So no matter how it is that you arrived at this post. Let’s talk about San Francisco based punks, United Defiance and their new record via Thousand Islands Records, “Change The Frequency”. We loved their last record from 2018, “Safe At Home”
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I remember when the world locked down for Covid. I remember asking the question, “Where are we going as a civilization? Can we focus more now on saving the environment? Can we focus on human rights? Can we spend more time with our loved ones and not with the clock? The answer is best summed by the first track on the record, “Running Out Of Time”. This skate punk like track has some killer guitar riffs, and a very catchy chorus. We as a people are running out of time. Is it too late to change course?
The next track, “Daemons’ deals with battling addiction. We all face our addictions on a daily basis. It may be alcohol, food, porn, whatever it’s a personal battle and you versus your demons. The intro to this track is an extreme hook for the listener. It crosses that fine line between metal and punk rock. “Cool Kids Club” is up next and holy crap is this an awesome track!
I, like many other people, was singled out at a young age for being different. I remember in elementary school there was a “Cool kids Club”. They were all friends, in sports, or neighborhood friends. Since my family lived in a different part of town. I was bussed in from about 7 miles out. So I was labeled as being, “From a different hood”, “Probably a homo”, “Why did he color his hair? Is he really a girl?”, “Why does he listen to trash music?”
“Welcome to the cool kids club
did you read the sign
you have to be this punk rock to ride this fucking ride
hey there where you going kid and what’s your worthy cause
the new punk rock thing to do is point out all your flaws”https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/change-the-frequency
I really wanted to be in that club. Not because I liked those kids, but I thought it would stop the bullying. It was until I hit high school that found myself. I stopped caring what others thought and cared more about my own PMA. Punk rock saved my life. Now this track deals with the “Gatekeeping Of Punk Rock”. Yeah it sucks that there are even bullies in the punk scene. “You don’t have enough studs”, “You have too many studs”, “You like (insert band here)”. It’s time to move away from this crap!
Clinton’s vocals shine on this track. The listener can hear the deep emotional connection he shares with this song. I’m telling you now. Don’t be surprised when “Cool Kids Club” lands on the next big punk rock playlist. “Frolic In The Darkness” is up next. It’s an energetic borderline hardcore rager! The little ska punk riff is badass! I’ll add this to my, “All My Favorite Songs Are Less Than 2 Minutes Playlist”.
“Please Don’t Crash” follows up and sounds heavily influenced by Suicidal Tendencies. This is a deep track where the writer is questioning so many past decisions as we all do sometimes. The drums and vocals are the stars of this track. “Empty Advice” is next on the track list. It feels like it has more of a poppy 90’s punk sound. It’s a nice and needed tempo change. It’s also about trying to remain positive no matter what! Don’t forget the Punk Rock Saves Lives motto,
“Taps” comes in with a raging fire! It’s fast, deep bass lines, and kills it. “Show The World’, is up next. How many times have you rolled out of bed and rolled your eyes? I know I have done it many times, without realizing I was negatively hindering my life and my entire day to come. So “It’s time to rise up and show the world what you’ve got”! So let’s move onto another banger, “Sing With Me’.
Oh and the video above is absolutely hilarious! This song brings out that euphoric feeling you get when attending a live show. That feeling you feel when you and the crowd sing along with the band. For me it’s one of the best feelings in the world. “All aboard all aboard this broken sinking ship, this ship that’s heading straight to hell, there’ll always be a fee, but together we are free so grab a drink and sing along with me”.
Drum and bass take over the next track on, “Change The Frequency”. The guitar hooks and change ups breathe a new life into this song. You’ll be jamming along with this one in no time! “Spy Vs Spy” is what happens when a relationship crashes and burns. Sides are drawn, friends are lost, and an all out war may be on the horizon. This song is killer. The pit will be nuts on this track!
“My Resignation”, is amazing. It talks about those who left us in the dark and those who stayed there for us. It gave me a sense of personal empowerment and hope. The last track on the record is a kickass cover of Twisted Sister’s, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and features Jason DeVore from Authority Zero! This is more of a fun tongue in cheek version, but I think I like it better than the original.
In closing let me say one more thing. United Defiance’s, “Change The Frequency” is by far not only their best album, but by far one of the best punk rock releases of 2021. You can pick it up here via Thousand Islands Records, https://thousandislandsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/change-the-frequency.
Track List (Per Bandcamp)
- Running Out Of Time 03:14
- Daemons 03:13
- Cool Kids Club 03:35
- Frolic In Darkness 01:00
- Please Don’t Crash 03:17
- Empty Advice 02:44
- Taps 02:53
- Show The World 02:40
- Sing With Me 03:17
- Change The Frequency 02:37
- Spy VS Spy 02:24
- My Resignation 03:15
- We’re Not Gonna Take It (ft. Jason DeVore) 02:15
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/uniteddefiance
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/Uniteddefiance
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