Holy shit. This record was not at all what I expected it. And this is even after seeing the band live. I mean, there isn’t much difference between the first Classics Of Love EP and any Common Rider record. Save for the lack of ska, they were pretty similar. This is why this LP is such a shock to the system. Jesse Michaels (backed by The Hard Girls) put out a full length that sounds like Operation Ivy filtered through DC hardcore. While it never quite gets to be so overbearingly throwback hardcore, it definitely has the influence.
We have a full length full of political, pissed off punk rock. Jesse’s voice sounds more like it did in the old Op Ivy songs than it did while he was doing Common Rider. We do get some ska/punk songs in “Castle In The Sky” and “Bandstand,” but they are really the exception. While there are some melodic moments, the best songs are the straight up hardcore songs. Nine of these 13 songs clock in under two minutes. “Dissolve” being a blistering 1:10.
This record is fantastic. The production fits it perfectly. It is gritty and rough, just like Jesse’s voice. There is just one issue I have with it. It is with the sequencing. “Moving Pictures” sits smack in the middle of the record. It is the slowest and longest song. It saps the momentum. The song before it and after it are fucking quick numbers (1:31 and 1:16 respectively). But, that is a minor issue. Pick this up. It is a classic.