The Credentials


Written by: PP on 01/02/2011 12:18:44

If there's one branch of punk rock that's guaranteed to put you into a good mood, it's the warm, emotionally charged shout-alongs of Midwestern punk, spearheaded by the likes of Banner Pilot, The Lawrence Arms, and Dillinger Four. It's a sound that's both passionate, messy, and snotty on equal terms, surrounded by small glitches in production and errors in playing, but that's part of the reason why most of these bands are instantly charming. There's a strong element of buzz to the sound, one that's only amplified on "Routines", the debut album by Allston, Boston-based The Credentials, which spans over 22 minutes and 12 songs all recorded in one take.

Although the high-octane execution has its fair effect on the production quality, it also results in an extremely vibrant and eccentric sound, where it feels like you can almost touch the band's passion and energy, a feat usually associated with live experiences only. The record races by you fairly quickly, but not without leaving a lasting impression through short, joyous minute-and-a-half sing alongs like "I Hate Your Guts" and "I Don't Want To Think About That Girl", characterized by their busy soundscapes and rough production that leaves the guitar tone full of raw melody.

Both the lyrics and the sound are warm, honest and charming, drawing parallels to bands like Rumspringer, Off With Their Heads and a number of others, thanks to a drunkenly singing vocalist who doesn't hold back, singing and shouting melodies from the top of his lungs throughout the record. It feels like a passion overdose in places, and gives in for a rumbling, cheerful sound that's impossible to resist. While the low production measures will be a turn off to a number of you readers, I for one cherish the vibrating, buzzing soundscape that's designed for big sing alongs and circle pits at live environments. Here's to hoping for a ton of success for these guys.

Download: Hating Your Guts, Mike-Graffito Tagged Somerville, Up In The Attic, I Don't Want To Think About That Girl
For the fans of: Rumspringer, old Dillinger Four, Banner Pilot, The Serious Geniuses, Frank And Earnest, Off With Their Heads
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 27.03.2010
Traffic Street Records

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