Review Summary: A cut above the rest, this album marks the marriage between potential, talent, and musicianship in perfect harmony.
How does one go from pure skankin' ska-punk tunes, to a multi-faceted machine that is Progress? Whatever the case may be, the RX Bandits have done what no one thought they could do. Being from California and trying to make it as a band is an old story we are all familiar with, as was the music we heard from their previous outings. RX Bandits were often overlooked when they were coming out with their music, and a rise to fame seemed out of reach. With that being said, Progress should silence any critic that they sound like everybody else. When asked by a friend to put these guy in a genre because he was organizing his library, I replied with, "RX Bandits? Their genre IS RX Bandits."
Behind the simple Native American Chief's head with a white backdrop, lies a multitude of ska-punk, progressive, hardcore influences culminated into a work of musical art. Progress, as all Bandit's records do, has a feel all it's own. While many will debate their favorite record, one thing is absolutely clear, each record is completely different. Don't be mistaken though, the roots and original sound are there, it's the atmosphere that they create on each record that is something special, and this record is my personal favorite. With all personal feelings aside, this record stands alone in the ska-punk department. Bringing a eclectic grab bag mix of different genres this record is progressive, in your face, and a true picture of what these guys can do.
There is ample evidence within the lyrics of this record to show the level of maturity. Leaning away from straightforward messages from a high school kid, to the subtleties of deeper meanings within Analog Boy, Matt Embree shows his lyrical skills firing on all cylinders. Another factor that can be taken into account is the fact that this record sounds like the one they wanted to make. This record especially, the bandits took many risks, and even though there is such a distinct difference between Halfway and Progress, you still know it's the Bandits. They stepped out of their comfort zone, found the sound that no one has heard before, and perfected it. Thus, making their genre, RX Bandits.
You'll find yourself listening to this record time and time again. There are so many special moments, mine needn't be cited considering the whole album is beautiful. The truth of the matter is, Progress is an album you can't ignore, nor can you not listen to it. You'll immediately need to search amazon for it and get it for yourself, because it is a great edition to any music library.