This is a tough one. I wouldn’t have dreamt it was possible to be disappointed with a record that was introduced with The Smiths, The Clash, and Dag Nasty as RIYL. It’s a struggle, because I’m not interested in scathing diatribe or useless criticism; but this album is hard to like. I’m careful to say album, because their earlier stuff is decent; it’s quick, raw, unrestrained, and topped with vocals that would completely justify a Dag Nasty comparison. But fast-forward to the self-titled, and it starts to deflate.

The real problem on the album is the level of production; it’s overdone at every possible juncture. The music itself is less punk in a traditional sense, and more punk in a “Sandanista!” kind of way; but, like the Clash’s sprawling album, the good intentions end in diffusion.

There are interesting moments where punk meets ska, and funk, and whatever else these guys could draw upon, but because of the heavy production, especially on the vocals, the fusion and inspiration is muted. Songs like “Ballots/Stones” – the verse, at least – suggests some promise but it never entirely comes to fruition. Too bad, really, but at least it’s a nice effort.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. A Mistrust Earned
02. Rebel Fatigues
03. Affidavit
04. Where the Waters Call Home
05. Ballots/Stones
06. Marine Transgressions
07. Young Professionals
08. Overstayed
09. Wither on the Vine
10. Victory Lap
11. Jerry Rumspringer
12. War on a Feeling

Run Time: 34:12
Release Date: 07.20.2010