The Riot Before
Fists Buried In Pockets


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dan Smith USER (74 Reviews)
October 4th, 2008 | 21 replies | 7,772 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A strong and spirited collection of catchy folk-punk numbers with a heart, a conscience, and a passion for melody.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Seeing the band name and album title, and having looked at the photograph of a burning paper house on the cover of Fists Buried in Pockets, The Riot Before's second full-length outing, you'd be forgiven for expecting an incendiary politico-hardcore outing. However, in judging this (liner note) book(let) by it's cover, you'd be depriving yourself of something of a pleasant surprise. The accompanying press release bills The Riot Before as "the bastard child of Against Me! and The Gaslight Anthem, with Mike Ness (of Social Distortion) singing" and it's soon apparent the aforementioned fists are not clenched in anger, but in frustration.

Building on a solid base of sprightly stripped-down punk rock, the band reference the same touchstones of folk, soul and country for which Mssrs. Gabel, Fallon and Ness have a known affinity, resulting in an album which is simultaneously fresh and yet warmly familiar. Through it's eleven (mostly) short, sharp numbers, Fists Buried In Pockets thoughtfully addresses the many problems and difficulties of day to day life, from the plight of a poor immigrant worker in "5 to 9," through the constant presence of war and politics in the media ("Numero Seven" and "Election Day" respectively), to "Words Written Over Coffee," where vocalist Brett Adams recounts the trepidation of choosing to drop everything and follow his dreams of living through music. Adams' lyrics are candid and he's surely wearing his heart on his sleeve here, but thankfully he doesn't descend to trite emotional outpourings, instead going for an intelligent and occasionally complex lyrical style, which is wordy without ever coming across at all pretentious. Take, for example, the chorus of "You Can't Sexy Dance to Punk Rock," one of the catchiest cuts to be found here - "So we fight for life with the limits out of our reach/We implore the sky to reveal past infinity/So dies safety..." - a song which thoughtfully discusses the negative effects that might arise from knowing why and how we're here. Questioning the morality of science? Or making a strong case for having belief? The beauty here is that there are several ways to interpret the lyrics, meaning that there should be something here for everyone to appreciate - a credit to Adams' lyrical skill.

As is to be expected, such lyrical depth and emotion would be wasted if the songs weren't up to scratch, but thankfully this isn't the case. As I mentioned, TRB imbue their songs with varying influences, all to great effect. "Threat Level Midnight," with it's stomping folky influence, wouldn't be vastly out of place on Against Me!'s Reinventing Axl Rose opus, although admittedly it's rather more accessible. "They Rode on in the Friscalating Dusklight" comes on like some kind of punk rock barndance/hoe-down, an effect bolstered by the "whoa-oh-oh" gang-vocals halfway through. Hell, "You Can't Dance..." even hints at something of a skate-punk influence! Freddy Clarke's drumming style is relatively simple, but he succeeds in picking the perfect beat every time, and is often the driving force behind the songs. Brett, along with second guitarist John Greeley provide the guitars, which alternate between bright chords, lead melodies, and the occasional moment of softer picking. Likewise, Cory Manning keeps his bass-playing fairly simple. It's apparent that simplicity, not technicality, is the band's strong point; it's the strong and consistent songwriting which makes Fists Buried In Pockets such an enjoyable listen, although it doesn't hurt matters that the vocals (whether they're being sung by multiple band members, or just Adams himself) are passionate and strong, providing many a sing-along moment.

The only real misfire here is "I Have My Books," which strips things down maybe a little too much - a lone guitar strumming one chord and Adams' rather disjointed vocal phrasing making it more of an awkward emotional outpouring than an actual song. However, the overall strength of the rest of the album makes up for this one misstep and make no mistake, if you have even the slightest soft spot for passionate folk-influenced punk rock, those ten songs will have you coming back again and again. Fists Buried In Pockets is a strong showing, especially from a band who've been around for a mere three years; if they continue making music of this quality, there's no reason why The Riot Before can't reach the same heights of success as their more famous peers.



Recent reviews by this author
Matthew Reynolds Come PouringNorth Lincoln Midwestern Blood
Mike Hale Lives Like MineStereotyperider Songs in the Keys of F and U
In the Red Volume 2Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves
user ratings (30)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
spoon_of_grimbo
October 4th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in the spirit of randomly celebrating large round-number milestones... WHOOOOOOOOOOO 60TH REVIEW!!! (I'd raise a beer if I wasn't still hideously hungover...!).

this is streaming in full on t'interclick at http://www.punknews.org/bands/theriotbefore so crack a beer on my behalf and enjoy the album!

SnackaryBinx
October 4th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

folk-punk.

i'm already interested.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



17195 Comments


This is really friggin good. glad to see this getting reviewed.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



17920 Comments


i will probably check this out

Doppelganger
October 4th 2008



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just saw these guys two nights ago with Trap Them. Sick show.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 4th 2008



6000 Comments


Going to definitely get this. Good review.

spoon_of_grimbo
October 4th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

seems these guys are more well-known than i was aware of, that's good to know! i'll hopefully be seeing these guys the fest, can't wait for that!

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



17195 Comments


i wish i was going to the fest...

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



17920 Comments


i might go

how cool is that

spoon_of_grimbo
October 4th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

let me know if you are going man, i'm coming over from the UK on my own, so it'd be cool to meet up with you when i get there!

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



17920 Comments


iluvatar and jOe CoStA will be there too

SPUTNIK PARTY

SnackaryBinx
October 4th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

where is the fest at?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



17195 Comments


gainesville fl
This Message Edited On 10.04.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2008



20855 Comments


Very good review S.O.Grimbo; Pos'd.
Band sounds very interesting & you sum up their sond especially well. Well done.

SnackaryBinx
October 4th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

man, florida? that's too far away for me.

spoon_of_grimbo
October 4th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

iluvatar and jOe CoStA will be there too



SPUTNIK PARTY


i second this motion!

AndyRictor2000
October 4th 2008



146 Comments


I live in shitty orlando for 7 years only to have to leave 2 months ago for good and in turn I will miss one of the best fests to hit the state since i've been there. Typical florida fuc kery

flamethisuser
October 25th 2008



395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is awesome.
just thought I'd throw that out there.

spoon_of_grimbo
March 24th 2009



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they've just released a video for "we are wild stallions" here:

http://vimeo.com/3819004

DBlitz
March 24th 2009



1690 Comments


will check out the band, song was solid



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy