Partying or politics? Progress or pot-smoking? Beer bongs or bailouts? This is one of many dividing issues between and within punk rock scenes all over. Is achieving social progress and awareness the more important of the two goals, or is music a time to relax and have fun, leaving the worries of the real world behind? There’s no answer to this, as philosophers have argued this essential Yes/No, Black/White question since time began and continue to do so to this day, seemingly without any progress. Here, the differences are bridged and two bands who seem to be polar opposites in philosophies come together on one 7” record to celebrate the similarities and understand the separations.
The two bands have very similar sounds instrumentally speaking, but the vocals have vastly different sounds between the two sides. The Aggressive Force side combines the headbanging bandana thrash with a gravelly, raspy vocalist, like Choke if he had never been around any smoke in his life (think less gravelly and raspy than him). Four solid songs to skate, mosh and read the national newspaper to. The Common Enemy side provides three tracks of classic Common Enemy: higher-pitched vocals with a thrashcore youth crew vibe. The singer sometimes distracts from the music itself, but the sound is so fast and powerful that it gets lost and blends in with the general tone of the music, completing the experience of the music.
This record is proof that differences in punk rock scenes are very present and easy to bridge, given some collaboration and an active resistance to pigeonhole bands by only their sound, or only their philosophy (take a hint, straight edge bands). Party about politics, get political about partying, there’s always time (or a slab of vinyl) for both.