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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
GC5
Kisses From Hanoi - Horseshoes & Handgrenades
Thick Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Punk, even in its earliest primordial forms, has always been up to its ears in mediocrity. There are a great many bands out there that call themselves political and angry, and are imploring you to stand up and lash out against "the system". Unfortunately, they aren't sure what their politics are, why they are angry, or what "the system" is and how to lash out against it. There is a lot of banner waving and slogan shouting going on in punk rock, but this is no different than George W. Bush sound-bite politics: You really don't know what the message is. In order to make your mark in punk rock, you need to articulate your message well as the themes rarely change, and you need to be able to make crowds want to stomp. Fortunately for the GC5, they do both very well indeed.

This release on the Thick label is a combination of 2000's Outsider Records Kisses From Hanoi and a 5 song import EP tacked on to provide fans stateside of The GC5 with some somewhat difficult to find material. This record burns down supermarkets and suburbs through all 19 of its Let's Go!-era Rancid sound with Dropkick Murphys vocals and stomp. This disc has a fist-pumping "Oi!" spirit but without that often over-used syllable (though a few of them would have been nice while I was rocking it in the headphones).

Lyrically, the GC5 articulate their message well without any insult to the intelligence. This is the only similarity I will draw to usual gratuitous reference, the Clash (which, I must admit, I was disappointed to see in the press kit). Their brand of punk rock, though done before, is done well and is refreshingly intelligent without all the posturing and pretension that often lurks in the lyric sheets of younger punk rock bands (and with less than 10 "f-words" within all 19 tracks!).

This release is a solid effort and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves good punk rock. I think that I would have appreciated it more back in 1995 and 1996 before I traded in my punk rock persona to join the working week. Every now and then it's fun to revisit the spikes, chains, and ripped tee shirts and get nostalgic over the punk that I thought I was (back off-everyone is a poseur at some point). It's also delightful to have a band like the GC5 to remind me of what a shameless sellout I am.

Reviewed by John Peters
A former contributing writer for LAS, John married former music editor Sarah Iddings. That\'s the last we heard from him.

See other reviews by John Peters

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