Every few months, something comes along and reminds me of my undying love for skate-punk and that early Epitaph/Fat Wreck Chords sound: the bands that taught me how to play guitar, the songs at the foundation of my love of music, the sound that made me want to be in a band…and I still am in one…or more. What can I say? I couldn’t skate.
Enter Local Resident Failure, who I stumbled upon on accident because their drummer, Kyle Smith, made two drum videos spanning the entire Epitaph and Fat discography. Watch those here and here. They’re quite impressive based on volume alone. Now, the more aggressive side of this genre always held my attention over the poppier side. In ’94, I went the Offspring-Smash route as opposed to the Green Day– Dookie, route, if you know what I mean (Kyle also has a video spanning Green Day’s career here).
Local Resident Failure offer a comfortable blend of that aggression and the melody/hooks/harmonies that could draw someone who doesn’t typically listen to punk derivative stuff. There’s upstrokes, too…like the ones you’d find on an early Millencolin record. Their first full length, “A Breath of Stale Air,” could very well sneak it’s way into the Fat Wreck Chords catalog (I’m not too sure what Epitaph is up to these days, but that last Bad Religion record ruled).
Local Resident Failure sound like The Deviates meets NOFX with a hint of a real accent on the vocals, on their debut. You usually know what you’re going to get with this genre, which is why the titled makes me laugh, however it’s rare that a new band comes out and does it so well. Listen for yourself below:
It should be noted that I didn’t make it to the end of this album, but decided to write about it anyway. Fuck me. Right? Anyway, we get it, you can play a hammer solo. We get it, you can play fast. We get it, you grew up on NOFX, but also dug Iron Maiden. Same here. We get it, you’re drummer is solid…wait, actually, not too sure on that one. It’s pretty hard to ignore the drums on this recording. They sound fake and programmed, which they probably are and I just can’t get over it. WAHH. Also, the bass severely lacks presence. I can’t say much else about this. Call me jaded, but I guess they just don’t make skate-punk albums like they used to. It’s not the Deviates or Strung Out, but it does sound like a Dexter Holland of Offspring slash Deryk from Sum 41 hybrid singing over bad Dragonforce songs. Oh wait, every Dragonforce song is bad and so is this. Fat Mike generally follows a trend of signing NOFX clones, so why expect anything different? Check out Zerodown‘s “With a Lifetime to Pay”- a Fat Wreckchord’s release that featured the now deceased, Jim Cherry who is better known for his bass duties in Strung Out and Pulley. Great album. Or, Go listen to the new One Win Choice record HERE. They’ve got the tech-punk/melodic social aware thing down pretty well and deliver it tastefully with cohesiveness. Oh yeah this is about Pour Habit. My bad. Did I mention the bad reggae song that totally kills any flow the album may have had? Didn’t think so…Either way, they get to play with some of my favorite bands growing up, so who’s really been slighted?