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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
The Horror
Insobriety and Insubordination
Simple Path Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Gainesville, Florida is on its way to becoming an invariable punk rock Mecca, with Against Me garnering well deserved national attention; Florida is starting to produce more and more talented punk acts - and punk rock label No Idea is helping lead the way. The Horror, also from Gainesville, may be next in line to put themselves into the growing national spotlight of punk rock.

Insobriety and Insubordination, the Horror's debut full length on hometown label, Signal Path Records, is both tribute and testament of the Horror's understanding of the Street/Oi! punk rock they play. Insobriety and Insubordination is a 30 minute beer soaked ride through sing along politically oriented pub rockers.

Even though this is the Horror's debut release, they demonstrate the maturity and chops of street punk heavyweights such as the Business, early Dropkick Murphys, the Exploited, the Forgotten and the Unseen. Stuart Fonsom's guitar buzz's with unmatched ferocity and intensity throughout the entire 30 minutes of Insobriety and Insubordination. Fonsom's catchy yet mature (yes, even punk can be mature at times) riffs give the impression that he has been writing for years.

John Grimaldi's gravelly shouts are often anthemic as he berates the system, the government, our current geo-political situation with chanted verses and choruses. Grimaldi tackles the dangerous attitude of "you're either with us or against us" on "Voice of (T)Reason," as he growls "I was just about to go down to the recruiters office and got on the boat/When Lo and behold they told me I'd have to kill all sorts of people I don't know." He shortly follows up with "So now they say you're unpatriotic if you take the time to just apply some objective logic." In "The Front Line" Grimaldi takes it to America's punk youth, "Would it kill you to put some meaning into your life," warning that the punk movement and action just isn't for youth, "And none of us are getting any younger/ this isn't only for the eighteen and younger."

It's refreshing to listen to the Horror's well written songs and Grimaldi's intelligent lyrics. Unlike so many other politically oriented bands, The Horror aren't just pissed off for the sake of being pissed off. They are intelligent enough to put together well-reasoned lyrics that argue their causes explain their positions. "Voice of (T)Reason" explains that disagreeing with the government is not being unpatriotic. The Horror calls us to action and berates those just spitting out the words on "In Sheep's Clothing" when Grimaldi points out "On No! I thought I'd never see emo cliques, gossip queens, and the shit-talkingest musicians there could ever be/But it's changing now/were growing up and tearing them down/Punk rock city, so pretty/What a load of shit, but we're trying."

Insobriety and Insubordination is one of the best street punk albums I've heard in a long time. The Horror have created something that should put them on the map. In a world of posers and look-alikes trying to cash in, and a time when punk has fallen on hard times, the Horror bring something real and true to the table, backing up their words with actions and their actions with heart. The final line of the title track sums it all up, "Live like your going to die tomorrow/Fight like you're going to live forever!"

Reviewed by Craig Mertes
Craig lives, works and listens to music in the general vicinity of Orlando, Florida, where he absorbs everything from hip-hop to indie, pop, rock, punk and metal. His all time favs include Hum, Clutch, Dismemberment Plan, and the Reverend Horton Heat. The last we heard, Craig was spinning Vast Aire, Soul Position, Blues Explosion, Motörhead, the Blood Brothers and Dead Meadow. Craig is also a life-long, die-hard Cubs fan, so lay off.

See other reviews by Craig Mertes



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