Anybody Out There

Written by: PP on 23/09/2010 06:45:34

One of the better pop punk albums this year comes from none other than mighty Rufio, the immensely technical pop punk band that captured hearts of mainstream fans and punks alike during the first half of last decade. Their versatile expression combined the sing-along harmonies of polished pop punk together with complex leads you normally find in bands like A Wilhelm Scream and Strung Out, varying the speed from hyperspeed d-beat oriented stuff to more detailed medium-pace pop pieces. This created a foundation that many loved to bits, and thus there was big disappointment when the band announced indefinite hiatus back in 2007 after just three albums. They're back now, however, with "Anybody Out There", a record that shows other pop punk bands how it's done.

A ripping lead opens the album precisely in the way that all albums should open: the riff is supremely melodic and bright, criss-crossing several scales at a speed that leaves other pop punkers pale in comparison, not least because of the ridiculous technical prowess the band demonstrates in just the space of the opening thirty seconds to the song. It's a signature Rufio riff, one that allows for the listener to dance crazily to it's high octane rhythm, but one that doesn't exclude a monster catchy chorus when its time comes. Speaking of catchy, have a listen to "The Loneliest" which appeared on an EP earlier this year, and particularly "All That Lasts", which brings together a d-beat and a chorus that you simply can't avoid to sing along. In many ways, it feels like Rufio took some of the best No Use For A Name vocal harmonies, cloned them into a Rufio pop punk format, and threw in exceptionally technical riffs to deviate from skatepunk into something different. The overall sound of "Anybody Out There" actually bears considerable similarity to NUFAN, except it's quite a bit poppier in places, and not as 'dumbed down' in terms of its instrumental base.

And such songs there are aplenty. Rufio makes meshing complicated riffs and easy-going choruses into an art form throughout the album, leaving most singing along, and if not that, at least thrashing around to the melodic riffs. Occasionally, the band does try to expand their sound into something more, err, ambitious, and by that I mean over-inflation and ballad-style. It simply doesn't work after raw guitar talent at high speeds has been the name of the game throughout the record otherwise. Songs like "Deep End" and the other two ballads demonstrate a rather boring and predictable side to the band, having the effect of reducing the impression of Rufio into a second rate clone pop punk band whenever these songs appear. Luckily there are only a few of them on the record, but enough to drag down the rating a notch, because they are just not even nearly on par with songs like "Under 18", for instance. Otherwise, damn solid pop punk record that you should check out if you're not feeling the genre's lack of freshness for the time being.

Download: All That Lasts, The Loneliest, Under 18, Little World
For the fans of: No Use For A Name, This Is A Standoff, Fastlane, Half Hearted Hero
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.07.2010
The Militia Group

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