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9 out of 10
There's a certain sound that's often associated with Gainesville, Florida. A sound popularised by Hot Water Music and No Idea Records. A sound that is raw, punk rock fury coupled with classic New Jersey rock and roll influences and just a hint of pop sensibility. Well, Only Thunder - from Denver, no less - have come up with what may be the best Gainesville record since Hot Water Music went a bit rubbish.
If you're reading this in the UK you might remember a band that was around a few years ago called Hitechjet. They released an album called 600 Miles From. in around 2005, I think. It was almost a masterpiece, it was great and it lived in my car for about a year. This album sounds kind of like a cross between what Hitechjet might have sounded like if they'd released another album, and how you really, really wanted the last Hot Water Music album to sound.
The main standout on this album is the guitars - there are three of them, Iron Maiden style. This allows for some wonderfully complex (but never overly so) songwriting, with the interplay between the three creating some great instrumental moments as well as intertwining with the obligatory gruff, throaty but well sung vocals. It also fills the album with some appropriately thunderous riffs.
If you like your punk rock complex and layered, this is one for you. There are hints of Small Brown Bike, Hot Water Music, Shai Hulud, Sleeping by the Riverside, Glass and Ashes, so if any of those bands appeal to you then you really ought to look up Only Thunder.
1. Tapestries, Candles, Zima?
2. Back and Forth
3. Fucking Your Way to the Middle
4. Computer Says No
6. I'm a Witch, Burn Me
7. Her vs the Triceramom
9. Fence Fight
10. There is no Peace on Colfax