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This is an incredibly hard review to write. As I am sure you are aware, legendary Adolescents bass player Steve Soto passed away just prior to the release of this album. electricity pictures Will this be the final Adolescents album? Only time will tell, but I do know that if it is, it is a fine way to cap off an extraordinary band. In the modern era of punk rock, we have seen many of the original bands get back together in varying capacities, but none have been more prolific and continuously great than the Adolescents. Since their return with 2005’s OC Confidential, the band released five more albums bursting with songs both well written and incredibly topical. How can you call it a reunion act when they have consistently shown that they are better now than they were in their heyday? That is a bold statement and you should know I make it seriously. I consider them to be the best band to come out of Southern California during that era. Cropduster is taking our current situation to task. Vitriol has never been so easy to sing along with, and if there was any doubt who the main target is, look no further than the cover art depicting Forty-five literally cropdusting a crowd of Americans. This album is the Adolescents at their finest. Rest in Peace, Steve. Thank you for leaving us with one more amazing album. –Ty Stranglehold (Concrete Jungle)

I have been a fan of Portland, Ore.’s Arctic Flowers for quite some time now (I want to say it was 2010 when I saw them play in a warehouse in Austin, Texas at 4 AM—I was instantly hooked). impact of electricity in the 1920s It was my first realization that I really like post-punk. I mean, as a kid in the ‘80s bands like The Cure and Joy Division were always around in the punk circles I travelled in, but it was always periphery music to me. Arctic Flowers opened me up to other stuff that was going on now. Cat Party, Nervosas, Lunch, The Nervous, Red Dons, and Criminal Code—all really amazing bands. I guess you’re never too old to branch out! Anyways, Straight to the Hunter is AF’s third full-length album and they continue their running streak of amazing releases. k gas cylinder As I play this over and over, the words that keep appearing in my brain are “beautiful intensity.” This record is heavy yet has a way of relaxing me. They have a knack for building up the tension in a song, then throwing a stop in just the right place before everything explodes. It gives me chills every time. This is a self-released effort by the band and I don’t imagine they will hang around for very long, so I’d jump on a copy as soon as possible. –Ty Stranglehold (Self-released)

La Armada is one of the hardest working bands in recent memory. Formed in 2001 in the Dominican Republic, for the last decade the quintet has made Chicago the homebase for their relentless touring and recording schedule. Their most recent release, Anti-Colonial Vol. 1, not only captures everything I’ve come to know and love about the band, but also marks a new direction for them. gas laws definition chemistry Long-time fans have come to expect an album of furious metallic riffs, nuanced song writing, and every member’s brilliant musicianship, of which La Armada more than deliver. The record manages to capture all the raw intensity of the band’s live performances. Where things take a different turn, is in terms of lyrics, with Anti-Colonial Vol. 1 marking the first time, to my knowledge, that the band has written songs in English. The raw anti-capitalist lyrics of past releases are still present, but in a language that will reach a wider audience. I applaud the band for making this bold step, after previously having only written songs in their native Spanish, and I feel that with the vitalness of their message, and the anthemic delivery of their message, the band have more than succeeded in this transition. electricity physics formulas Catch the band on tour when they roll through your town and be sure to grab this record. –Paul J. Comeau (armadahardcore.com)

Talented and ambitious (there’s two red alerts right there), these guys, whether intentionally or unintentionally, sound like some shockingly mutated strain of late ’60s/early ’70s radio pop, sprayed with so many structural and musical left turns that it is quite unnecessary for them to come out and say “WE COULD BE PLAYING JAZZ RIGHT NOW YOU KNOW” as the music just about shouts it into your hearing aid for you. As a result, we get the cloying aspects of pop music, coupled with the why-the-fuck-are-you-trying-my-patience-like-this aspects of art rock. electricity word search ks2 They’re not entirely unsuccessful in their attempt to do whatever it is they’re trying to do—there are certainly some cool parts to this record, and I appreciate their clutches at greatness—but, overall, they remind me of what a completely undanceable version of Oingo Boingo (i.e., Danny Elfman’s ten-piece band, before he got famous doing gimpy movie music) might sound like if O.B.’s recording budget was approximately what one’d pay for a decent plate of pancakes. I’ll hate myself for saying this, but I’d like to hear them with, say, Magic Kids money in the studio budget. It might wind up sounding worse, but then we’d know for sure. Stay golden, Ponyboys! Unless you are not currently golden. I can’t really tell. BEST SONG: I like the “Help” section of “Help/Vanity/Caravan.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Motorwonder.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The first time I heard anyone say “Awful Kanawful” was when some older kids said it to my cousin, when he was trick-or-treating in his Evel Knievel costume in the ’70s. –Rev. Nørb (Chocolate Chin)