Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Green Lizard - Las Armas Del Silencio CD Review

How many years do you think the current girl pants wearing trend has left in it? My guess is maybe one or two before the next fad hits and takes over. Who knows what it will be? It’s easy to remember when biker chain wallets were all the rage with metal kids or when Airwalk and Vans were the only shoes trendy punk kids could be found sporting. There was even a small window of time where pink was the color you would wear (pseudo-ironically) in hardcore circles. Just like fashion, music is very cyclical. The 90’s saw metal falling into the background as grunge exploded onto the airwaves and political punk mesmerized the counter-culture. Before too long nu-metal struck a chord with the Nascar crowd and dominated every rock station in the world while pop-punk took up a strong second place in the ears of the kids. Today it's all about metalcore with post-rock making a surge in underground circles. And who knows what will be the predominant styles next year?

All of these disparate genres have had bands playing in them over the last decade and a half, but the quality and popularity have often waxed and waned based upon popularity. Because of this, when a stellar record from a lesser listened to genre came around, it stood out so much more than the next big release from the fad of the day. Right now the political punk genre has been pretty untouched outside of last year’s Rise Against and Strike Anywhere releases. It’s probably because of this that Las Armas Del Silencio manages to grab your ear and not let go.

Upon hearing the opening licks of “Save Ourselves” you’ll find yourself awash in the aura of Boysetsfire, and just to be clear I’m talking about the classic Boysetsfire era — not the crap they put out and called The Misery Index. Throughout the album you’ll hear many throwbacks to the rock oriented spectrum of the late 90’s and early 00’s political punk sound. Pointing out the rock orientation of the band is not something to be taken in passing as the band has a firm polipunk attitude and many songs crank up the tempos, but for about half of the album the band approaches songwriting with a straightforward rock mentality.

With that said, the diversity on this album is what makes it so appealing. The guys in Green Lizard can shift gears from a galloping Billy Talent styled tune (“Bullets are for Everyone”) to a radio friendly, quasi-Rise Against composition (“One Minute”) to a non-clich├ęd, punk ballad (“One Last Kiss”). It’s obvious to see that the 12 plus years this band has been together has benefited their ability to create interesting songs in a genre that can sometimes lack creativity.

Listening to this album and then checking out what the popular Alternative Press bands currently are leads you to one stark realization - any day now we should be seeing the ousting of metalcore from the MP3 players of today’s scenesters, and when it happens, let’s hope that polipunk can at least makes its way back into a small bit of the limelight it used to occupy because it is long overdue for a resurgence. Green Lizard are ready to lead the charge with Las Armas Del Silencio, and there really isn’t a better album to give political rock and punk the surge it needs than this one.

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