Punk rock. Perhaps the most controversial genre ever made? I’d say so. Whether it be defining bands such as the Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, or Blink-182, Punk Rock has always seemed to associate itself with a large array of bands. When I claim that Document # 8 is the greatest punk album ever made, people may question how I can consider something so chaotic, so complex, and most of all so emotional centered to be the greatest “punk” album. Well, in my eyes that’s what punk has been in my life, an outlet for pure emotion. Whether it be in the hands of bands like Minor Threat or Gorilla Biscuits who targeted social problems, or groups such as the Dead Kennedys and Propagandhi who are respected for their political comments, they all did it with an overlaying emotion that made it distinct from other genres. Pg. 99 embraces emotion like a lover. It’s music drips of it, at points Document # 8 is almost to filled with it, it seems like the hinges that hold this masterpiece together are about to break. But it never does, and that’s perhaps its greatest strength, it’s twenty and something minutes of pure adrenaline straight into the vein.
“In Love With An Apparition” begins with a Kurt Cobain quote with some feedback in the background and then explodes into a frenzy of screams and guitars. Lyrics comparing a girl to a vampire and a few time changes later, a brief clapping is heard behind some lone guitar. The two Pg. 99 vocalists come in after a little bit with spoken and screaming parts. While all of this has been done by other bands, Pg. 99 does it in a way that makes it seem original, that makes it seem personal, and that makes it seem like it’s theirs. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a nine piece band, but it is just a volley of sound that can only be defined as Pg. 99. “Your Face Is A Rape Scene” starts off as another explosion of noise, once again around the one minute mark the song slows up its tempo and descends into some guitar crescendos for a minute until the song finishes with another cataclysm of screams. “Life In A Box” is a minute and thirty seven second ass kicking which breaks into one of the more interesting tracks “We Left As Skeletons”. The guitar riffs that are involved in “We Left As Skeletons” are all over the place it’s doesn’t have the grindesque quality that the previous three tracks did, but it is still heavy as hell until it breaks into the middle where one of Pg. 99’s vocalist almost sings which is very unique. The next track is the weakest one on the album, “Punk Rock In the Wrong Hands” doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it still a great accusation of what the punk rock scene has become. “Ballad of Circling Vultures” is the creepiest track on here; it has this overwhelming sense of doom that really helps build up the next song. Also it’s the most instrumentally interesting track on here, with its looming bass line and the rough feedback. Closer “The Hollowed Out Chest of A Dead Horse” is a buffet of various styles and even ends what seems to me to be a very “pop-punkish” way. My favorite part is the chant section that takes place around the two minute mark; it really builds off of the looming section that started off “Ballad of Circling Vultures”.
All in all, the tracks of Document # 8 can’t be described. The album in a sense can’t be reviewed. It has to be felt. This album isn’t about having time signature changes every eight seconds, or showing off their guitarists shredding abilities. It’s about guts, and heart. And if more punk musicians had the attitude of Pg. 99 the genre would be able to be described in two words in my opinion, “the best”.