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Thought Riot | Sketches of Undying Will | review | punk | Lollipop

Thought Riot

Sketches of Undying Will (A-F)
By Ewan Wadharmi

The refreshing positivity demonstrated here is best represented with the bumper-sticker ready lyrics "Sing loud/dance hard/soar high and without restraint." Guaranteed, after experiencing this record, you'll feel like you just walked out of a Rocky movie and are invincible. Thought Riot play an intriguing blend of anthemic '80s hardcore and aimless '90s emo melded with relentless metal spirit. What they lack in vocal targeting is redeemed in unquenchable rage and oral acrobatics. Singer Marc Riot jumps through hoops to ditch the rest of the band. He succeeds with some frequency, as the drummer drags with the same fatigue that plagues The Offspring. The frantic guitars provide melodic texture, which is needed in the paper-dry production, but the transitions are occasionally problematic. After a few spins, any complaints have dissipated as the socio-political ranting and resilient guitars seep in.

A bit of T.S.O.L. darkness lines a few numbers, but without resorting to the theatrics of A.F.I. Before you know it, the whirlwind sound sucks you into the vortex where jagged bits flirt with your skull. In this exciting, helpless state, the mind-blowing lyrics make themselves known. The forward-thinking "On New Tablets" is smart enough to recognize that abstinence itself can be an addiction. While the fist-pumping "A Song in Response To..." educates with eloquence, "With misplaced trust we lust for genuine servitude/our hearts now rust as Machiavellian appointees uproot the trust we've labored to sow." The intelligence is not a stumbling block, but a ladder to advanced thought. First they fuel you up with adrenaline, then fire your synapses. Now your fertile mind is receptive to the seeds of subversive propaganda. Their FBI files will be padded with disdain for homeland security, the two-party caste system, and puffed up patriotism. And like any good evangelist, they reiterate the uplifting message in the finale with a rousing chorus, "In time though, all things end/our vivacity endures/and we'll carry on the dreams." This feels like a band of historical importance. Aligning yourself with them is a wise use of your vote.
(PO Box 71266 Pittsburg, PA 15213)  


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