Saturday, January 28, 2012
Aggro or Die!- Summer Dies review
Aggro or Die!- Summer Dies CD review
The band Aggro or Die has been in multiple different incarnations since 2006, and have the shows to prove it, local and out-of-state. After five years and multiple devastations that hampered the release of this album, I finally got to hear it for myself this past month (December 2011). I can safely say that the wait was worth it; it is definitely a complete work. Before breaking the album down at all, I must say that this album plays out like a video game with multiple possible endings. It’s just not possible to really gather everything about the album in one listen; something different that was unnoticed previously could be noticed in a second, third, or any future listen. The album is so incredibly varied that sometimes it’s too much, hence the previous comparison. However, the album does have a few core attributes that relate to the band and do not change from song to song.
This main vibe of energetic punk, a gravelly-vocaled modern day 7 Seconds sung about a wide variety of lyrical topics (hating the winter, skateboarding, the futurelessness of the current generation, Detroit, etc.) is what drives the band, and it’s a looming, persistent feel, unchanging from beginning to end; however, this stripped-down simplicity is only a hint of what Aggro or Die has to offer. This band incorporates many different genres and subgenres into their music, all the while keeping their sort of “Aggro” sound: Youth crew, third wave ska, thrash metal, NYHC, good old rock and roll, and probably one or two others. Without any doubt, this is a steadfast, killer punk album, complete from beginning to end. I won’t lie, this record is definitely a difficult one to “get”, at least in the way lead singer Jay Voltage sees his music. I don’t know if I “got” it or not, but regardless, I enjoyed it. A few cons: Listening to individual songs is not the best treatment for this album, which works, just not on CD format. Though it doesn’t mean the songs are bad, I feel it detracts from the ultimate feel. Secondly, I do not hate February, as it seems to be a successful, happy month for me (this one’s a joke, in case you lack the sense of humor to see it). Third, I’ve grown to be a fan of shorter songs for punk music, and some of these songs are REALLY FUCKING LONG. As music, it’s irrelevant, but as punk music, it is relevant, and it drives me up the wall sometimes.
I give the prognosis for this album as worth of a listen, but take it with a dose of this suggestion: Don’t think of this as punk rock or crossover, and instead view it as simply music. Give it whatever name you want, it IS good music, and it’s worth at least a few listens, for reasons obvious to you, assuming the introduction was read. Skate and thrash!