Link: www.myspace.com/stolenbicycles
I saw these guys live and they were a tonne of fun. And fun is definately is a good starting point as you get a lot of angry punk bands with political agendas and in our current world you have a million bands who all feel the need to express their left wing opinion even though we all seem to sing the same song in our own slightly varied way. You NEVER see a punk band sing, “YAY Capitalism! I don’t see where they wrong, communism didn’t work so I wrote this song…” or something equally misguided. Yes, we know the system sucks Anti-Flag - we get the message.

My main concern with this EP is that the drumming sucks. You could even do (tight but) cop-out punk drum beats from bands like Ignite or Forefold. Something like that would sound effective but the drumming on this EP is wildly uneven. It is like he is trying to do double-kick but the feet can not coordinate well with his arms and can’t keep up with himself. I know I shouldn’t be putting so much emphasis on drumming but this is punk. If your drummer sucks, it really brings the band down. Is the resevour of drummers really that few and far between? I usually find punk drummers are either really great or really poor with no real inbetween.
I hate making comparisons but I don’t really have an option because I tell you these guys were set out to sound like Nofx. It says in their bio but they don’t really. They sound more like Guttermouth if Guttermouth had a fraction of their abilitiy/talent and their singer Mark, sounded both whiney and constipated at the same time.
I see what they are trying to do - “Hey, we’re just like Nofx! Listen to us!” and then that forces anyone who has ever been interested in punk and Nofx, ever. Then when the listener actually listens to the band that are making this comparison, being bitterly disappointed when they don’t live up to the hype or thinking they’re not as bad if they set the bar low. The problem with this is millions of punk bands all try to sound like Nofx and only a handful are actually worth listening to.
The guitar work is nothing fancy but at the same time is the most effective part about the band and this EP. If you don’t care for lyrics or do not take your lyrics seriously (especially with song titles like, “Peanut Butter Motherfucker”), these guys suffice. If you’re looking for something a little more wholesome and not just something to say to fill the sound, you might want to avoid and wish they would write second or third-rate political lyrics. There is a positive in this EP: they have the woah’s remaniscent of early AFI but please do not misunderstand - the “whoa’s” are where the comparisons stop.
The best song (by far) is the first track - “Baby I’m The AntiChrist”. If I could get over the drumming and the vocals and the other songs were as good “Baby I’m The AntiChrist”, we’d have a great EP on our hands.
Regardless on this review on the EP, go and see them live - they’re much better.
2_stars.gif