T.S.O.L. are a Californian punk group from the 80s. If you listen to this band today, you will see the influence in bands such as The Offspring, AFI and Alkaline Trio. Ironically, the band has gone quiet and is now on Nitro Records that is owned by Offspring vocalist, Dexter Holland who was very influenced by them. On a side note, original drummer Todd Barnes passed away in 1999, it was reported that the speed in his system basically blew his brains up. It is to note that the band were slightly gothic as they wanted to be different than the rest of the Californian punk scene. This album is quite fun to listen to, with a lot of tempo changes and influences out of the punk circle (who could deny that the intro to Code Blue
reflects a jazz influence). I quite liked all the songs on this album with no filler at all, there are short songs but that doesn�t take away from a punk record.
Jack�s vocals are very mid-range; if you�ve heard The Offspring�s first record then the vocals are exactly like that. The vocals really go along with the songs. The guitars are a mixed bag, containing your usual power chords but he also contains a lead line usually going along with the melody. The bass is your usual and the drums are usually just common punk beats. It�s not a bad thing but a little more thought would have been good. The band contains a hardcore punk sound though it wasn�t extremely similar to bands like Dead Kennedys or Minor Threat. It did however still keep to a punk sound but they made it their own style. Something every band should do and not follow trends.
The one track that stuck out to me was Code Blue
, I got an adrenaline rush when that fast bit comes in after the almost jazzy intro. The lyrics are simply gross, it�s about necrophilia and it contains some weird imagery: � 'Cause I can do what I want and they won't complain. I wanna *** I wanna *** the dead. Middle of the night so silently, I creep on over to the mortuary. Lift up the casket and fiddle with the dead. Their cold blue flesh makes me turn red�
None the less, it�s still an amazing song and one of the best on the album. Every song on here is a winner to be honest but I do enjoy some tracks more than others. I�m Tired Of Life
is a sad song and is usually minor key. The lyrics question suicide and feeling your whole life was a lie. The song is simple; the vocals are like two people talking to each other and are pulled off quite well. It�s quite a short song running under two minutes.
is quite an upbeat song and it�s got a waltz tempo to it. Again, an extremely short song but this is a punk album so it doesn�t matter. The opener of the album, Sounds of Laughter
is in the same vibe as Code Blue
. It�s got almost an exact drum beat but this one is catchier I think. This album is essential for anyone trying to get into the hardcore scene. If you�ve got all your Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag albums and such then this is a step into other realms. The songs vary quite a lot I think as most of the songs have lots of tempo changes. Each member does their little bit to make the record as good as it can get, unfortunately TSOL took a different approach for their next album so keep this in your collection.