Review Summary: no brain, no pain - your daily punk fix
The way I came across the band 1000 Degrees can be described as the path of the usual suspect. I found them on a subsribed blog, tagged with the for me oh-so universally tantalizing 'punk rock' tag and furnished with a promising 'if you like' section including my all time favourites A Wilhelm Scream and the up and coming shredders of This is a Standoff. It was a quick download, in the dark effectively, since often times those recommendations turn out to be more like the result of a superficial genre evaluation or an act of wishful thinking. Still, at that time I was convinced that this will appeal to me - I liked the album cover, their musical preferences, and even the somewhat lame band name suggested me some ingenous and fun music for the pastime in between. Half an hour later - the smile was definitely conspicuous - 1000 Degrees' Has Already Past
delivered. Bones and all. But in the end, the fun pastime in between wasn't utterly satisfying.
It was the second half of "My Last Chance" that eventually made me ask why those thirty minutes of skate punk-inspired shredding and noodling are both so much fun to listen to while surfing through ebay's hot deals, but ultimately lack this triumphant feeling that everyone gets when you just discovered an asskicking song to show your friends and jam to 'til the end of the day. The answer seems to be pretty simple and obvious, but it's kind of tragic to admit it when you just constantly whipped your head to those swirling guitar leads and fast paced chord changes that provided your head with pixelated scenes of yourself standing in a game shop and playing Tony Hawk on a Playstation One. By adding all those fun little breaks and guitar tidbits, 1000 Degrees totally forgot to write some fully fleshed out songs. Maybe it won't bother you at first, while you're justifiably intrigued by the playful interaction of mainly the guitars, but the exuberant hilarity that the band radiates is dearly bought with lack of a cohesive songwriting and sustainable songs as a whole. There are cool little gimmicks everywhere, such as the poorly languished Shakira quote "it's time for africa" at the beginning of "My Ex-Girlfriend is so hot" or the Eastern riff attack in the middle of "Orango Dance", but in terms of tightly written songs, the yield is depressingly poor. To be fair, we have the agressively incipient "Orso Grigen" and the feel good rocker "Beatbox", both being pleasantly linear while maintaining a distinctive sound and still utilizing the technical finesse that is a apparent trademark of Has Already Past
. But yet, most of the songs can't distinguish itself decidingly from the mass of guitar fiddling and all too steady drum beats that is again and again intersected by uneven transition pieces.
This is why a song like "My Last Chance" can't push itself out of this crowd, albeit its rad chorus and the bloody marvellous tapping parts. It isn't consistent in its entirety, following a borderline ridiculous break with a gallopping rhythm which doesn't work too well with the progression before and after. Still, the song has awesome moments, and so has nearly every other song on the record. It really is a fun debut, hilariously blunt at times ("My Ex-Girlfriend is So Hot"), and the perfect filler when you need your daily punk fix.