Rx Bandits
The Resignation


4.5
superb

Review

by Bandido USER (9 Reviews)
January 3rd, 2010 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: P.E.P.S - Political Emotional Progressive Ska

The title of RX Bandits’ fourth album; “The Resignation”, is fitting because in a way, it was the band’s act of resigning from their former third wave ska sound. Although, the horns were still in place, the band took a big leap from the fun, sometimes silly, typical, sound of ska bands. On their 2001 release, “Progress”, the band hinted at more serious, mature subject matters, but on “The Resignation”, they dove head first and tackled the issues of politics and war, all while displaying a more progressive rock oriented sound.

The first four songs of the album are filled to the brim with angst-ridden lyrics about the band’s disgust for modern day society. On the punky opener “Sell You Beautiful”, singer Matt Embree says, “Look who’s got a new nose, plastic lips and fake tits. Ever tasted silicon" I’ve got scars on my eyes." Likewise, "Prophetic" and "Newstand Rock (Exposition)" are both hard-hitters that mock modern society.

While the first three songs are all fast-paced, and lean more towards the rock side of RX’s style, the fourth song “Overcome (The Recapitulation)” is a reggae number and heralded as a classic by many fans. Again, Matt Embree lays his strong feelings on politics on a plate for listeners to gobble up. As the pace of the song gradually quickens Embree repeatedly sings, “We’ve had enough of these politicians’ wars. What we need right now is love”. Again, it’s very in-your-face but, no doubt, one of the catchiest songs on the record.

The middle section of “The Resignation” is some of the strongest material RX Bandits have ever written. Lyrically, they take a break from the political lecturing and focus more on personal topics. “Never Slept So Soundly”, perhaps the highlight track on the album, is about a lost lover of Matt’s and his life collapsing around him. The song is composed of mostly clean guitars and chord-chopping, much like ska bands do, and paired with the strong, poetic lyrics, it becomes one of the catchiest and emotionally captivating songs. “Taking Chase as the Serpent Slithers” is the only full-blow ska song on the album featuring terrific horn work by Chris Sheets and Steven Borth II. Matt’s voice is absolutely soulful as he sings about a woman, using her as a metaphor for drug abuse.

Continuing the strong middle section is the monster, hard-rocker song, “Mastering the List”. Of every track on the album, it best displays the Bandits’ metamorphic progressive ska sound. Matt Embree and Steve Choi’s dual guitar attack works to perfection on this one.

“Pal-Treaux”, the second to last song on the album, throws listeners for a spin with its pleasant, poppy melody and sloppy but upbeat guitars. It’s the lightest song on the album until about 3:47 when the bands abruptly stops and scream together, “What it is to desire!” They blast into a bombastic, minor-key-oriented riff-fest so that they can effortlessly transition into the band’s best known song “Decrescendo”. While with some bands the most popular song is not the best, with RX Bandits, “Decrescendo” is best known for a reason. An explosion of power chords and drums kick the song off before Choi and Embree go at it with their own separate riffs, as if each is trying to top the other. Chris Tsagakis also makes his presence felt with his stylistic drumming. The song is catchy and powerful and only gets better when the band launch into a phaser-driven bridge. Again, the two guitarists play off of each other with tricky riffs that create a dizzying effect. When they blast back into the chorus and the romping finale of power chords that close the album, it leaves you feeling out of breath and in awe at what the Bandits just displayed.

The Resignation was their first truly progressive album and only hinted at what the band was about to become. At times, the political preaching of Matt Embree can become tiring; but there are other times of lyrical brilliance that overcome the excessive lecturing. The band sometimes falters in trying to find a median between ska and progressive rock but, overall they created a great new sound on the album and started a promising, new chapter to their careers.



Recent reviews by this author
As Tall As Lions Into The FloodThe Airborne Toxic Event The Airborne Toxic Event
The Airborne Toxic Event The Airborne Toxic EventJohn Legend Live at S.O.B.'s - New York City
Lucky Boys Confusion Throwing the GameCommon Resurrection
user ratings (362)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
YoYoMancuso (5)
Rx Bandits outdo themselves and release an album that contains ten times as much progress as Progres...

Ganondorf (3.5)
...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Prophet178
January 3rd 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album even though I prefer the last two albums. Good review too.



“Overcome (The Recapitulation)” is a reggae number and heralded as a classic by many fans




Haha, I remember one time when I saw RXB, after they exited the stage (obviously coming back for an encore) the entire crowd started singing Overcome. The band eventually came out and played it on a whim, no other show on that tour got that song. It was pretty awesome.

Bandido
January 3rd 2010


816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you and yeah that is sick. Been dying to see them live but every time they come by I'm always busy or something

Taxt
January 3rd 2010


1050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is pretty sick, good review. I saw one typo:

"Chris Tsagakis also makes his presence felt with his stylistic drumming."

But other than that it's good.





Bandido
January 3rd 2010


816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah thank you i'll fix that

ninjuice
January 3rd 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love love love Mandala and have this on my hard drive. Hopefully I'll love it too.

Athom
Emeritus
January 3rd 2010


17241 Comments


the resignation/and the battle begun/progress>mandala.

handoman
January 3rd 2010


2386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

123 i hate that people like mandala better just cuz it has solos

WatchItExplode
January 3rd 2010


4996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

456 mandala is still pretty tight though

Athom
Emeritus
January 3rd 2010


17241 Comments


i think it's a tad bit too self indulgent for it's own good.

WatchItExplode
January 3rd 2010


4996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At the very least it overstays its welcome



Athom
Emeritus
January 3rd 2010


17241 Comments


I saw them open for Glassjaw a couple months ago and it was like "god dammit! another drum circle?!"

WatchItExplode
January 3rd 2010


4996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought they were great live, but I don't think I would have enjoyed them opening for glassjaw...

Athom
Emeritus
January 3rd 2010


17241 Comments


they had time for a full set, they played for an hour. they only played 2 non mandala songs though, so
that sucked.

WatchItExplode
January 3rd 2010


4996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm still pretty pissed I didn't see them co-headlining with dredg this year...damn serious relationships...also, just mandala stuff, wtf?

handoman
January 3rd 2010


2386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

they only played 4 mandala songs when i saw them with dredg

WatchItExplode
January 3rd 2010


4996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm jealous...I've heard dredg have a pretty weird stage presence though

Prophet178
January 3rd 2010


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I feel asleep during Dredg's set, no joke.

Athom
Emeritus
January 3rd 2010


17241 Comments


last time i saw dredg was 4 years ago. they were great.

Bandido
January 3rd 2010


816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't know how you could possibly not want another drum circle because they're amazing.



And I would have to say ATTB > Mandala = The Resignation

handoman
January 3rd 2010


2386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

actually i couldnt even stay to see dredg lol =(



and 123 ATTB is the best



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





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 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy