First Appeared in The Music Box, February 2005, Volume 12, #2
Written by John Metzger
Thereís nothing particularly complicated about The Explosionís formula for success. Simply put, the aptly-named, Boston-based quintet charges through its three-minute pop-punk songs with all the combined furor of The Clash, The Ramones, and Green Day. Indeed, each track on its major label debut Black Tape is an adrenaline-soaked anthem that features a big shout-along, fist-pumping chorus. The problem, however, is that its lyrics are either too generic or too stupid to matter. When the ensemble tackles the topic of police corruption on Here I Am, for example, it does so on such pedantic terms that itís hard to believe that the group is actually angry about anything. Likewise, its calls for regime change (No Revolution) as well its diatribes against Americaís consumer culture (Hollywood Sign) and the war on terror (Atrocity) sound less like rebellion and more like The Explosion simply is following its chosen career path. Granted, itís refreshing to see a punk band once again delivering politically-minded music, but to truly incite a riot and shake-up the status quo, it has to be convincing in its populist intentions. Unfortunately, for all of Black Tapeís hook-heavy grooves, The Explosion sounds as if itís afraid to alienate anyone and ruin its chances of extending its record deal. Ĺ
Black Tape is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box