Huset, Copenhagen, DEN - 8/12
Written by: PP on 14/09/2012 04:34:34
The Russian/American punk collective Aybat Hallar is back again with a sophomore album, this time at a reasonably sized 14 tracks instead of the mammoth 25 track debut album that they released two years ago. "Something Nice", as the record is called, also sees the band shift away from aping NOFX and their clone bands Nicotine / Hit The Switch and in towards a more standard uptempo punk rock sound. Sure, they still sound snotty and do integrate a little 'roll in their guitars, but for the most part, "Something Nice" owns a fairly standard 'clean' punk rock sound.
Now, the previous record's problem was that there were way too many songs so the quality suffered and the record felt inconsistent. Here, the problem still persists, but perhaps more annoyingly, the band's tracking is awful. Normally you would start off your record with a couple of your best songs to woo the listener in, but here the first two tracks are extremely boring. I hate to be so blunt, but they are generic punk rock that lack all the elements that normally make punk rock songs catchy. Luckily, after a slow start, the band starts getting into gear on "Strike Back", which has some catchy woo-hoo lyrics attached to it, and by fourth track "Doomsday At The Dirty O" the riffs start providing some awesome melodic backing to the sloppy vocals that at this point sound kind of charming.
But just as things get going, Aybat Hallar rescind back to the generic stuff on "Worth The Wait", a skippable track, that leads straight into a nonsensical, full-blast hardcore track that doesn't make any sense in relation with the rest of the record. Ironically, it has so much energy and urgency that I'm almost inclined to suggest Aybat Hallar should consider starting a hardcore side project instead. I say almost, because the second half of the album begins straight afterwards, and it is here Aybat Hallar have placed their best material. " Some Rocks Are Too Heavy" is a fun sing-along type of song with Millencolin references, followed by a technical skate punk track "Everything Is Going According To Plan", and the highlight track of the album, "$1 000 000", which is easily the catchiest song this band has written to date. It's a little more low-key and turns down the tempo somewhat, but it's awesome nonetheless.
Now I could go on and on like this, but the issues "Something Nice" has are clear: consistency, consistency, consistency. For every good track there's one that I feel like skipping, so it's hard to justify a higher rating even if I like a few tracks on the record quite a bit. Cut it down to 7-8 songs, release as an EP, and there we go.
Download: $1 000 000, Some Rocks Are Too Heavy,
For the fans of: stereotypical punk rock
Release date 22.04.2012