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Hint (The Black and White Album)

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Hint is like having a piece of your favorite bubble gum in your mouth for an hour straight. You liked it at one point, it was juicy and flavorful and tingled your taste buds. After a half hour, the taste had faded, but you kept on chewing, just for old time's sake because it was a really good stick of gum at one point. Then you hit the 60-minute mark, and it dawns on you: it's time to let this once delectable piece of gum go. Sure you've been through a lot together, but it's just lacking now, missing that refreshing flow of flavor. Frankly, it just isn't that great anymore.

The Hint's sound would have been something worth pining over in the early to mid 90s. Social Distortion inspired punk, melodic and poppy, and easy on the ears. Never overly complicated, but always complex enough to maintain interest, the Hint's eponymous Black and White album isn't terrible by any means.

Joe Jayson has a reasonably pleasant singing voice and is really the epoxy that binds the music and flow together. The Hint hovers near the line of your basic three-chord structured punk (decidedly more structured, but still simplistic in sound), so Jayson's vocals ensure that the songs are never excessively bland, or too trite. He can carry tune better than most punk singers and isn't annoying or obnoxious, which really can never be overlooked.

This is the kind of punk that has wide appeal, that isn't specialized to the point of alienating prospective fans. I suppose credit is due in this sense, regardless of the lack-of-originality factor. The Hint stick with a sound they enjoy and it's a style that is obviously catchy enough to be imitated.

Overall, though, it's just another in a long line of poppy punk albums, and unfortunately The Hint aren't progressive enough to help modify the genre, rather are subscribers to an already successful formula.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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