Sep 23, 2011

Abolitionist has an interesting dynamic going on here. Starting out with thrumming the folk-punk intro of “Flaming Barricades,” It Used to Rain is essentially a concept album about a world with water shortages so severe that it’s caused a global collapse, rioting, etc. It’s ten songs of well-recorded and surprisingly headstrong, muscular punk, with nods—wittingly or not—to old ‘80s peacepunk bands like The Mob. They manage some interesting flourishes here and there—the oddly catchy, disco-like intro to “My AK” or the almost goth-like thread running through “The Bucket Brigade Kills” or the title track. My biggest complaint is that Abolitionist relies waaaay too heavily on A-B-A-B rhyme schemes, and the rhymes themselves come across as occasionally goofy or forced. And yet they usually manage to overshadow the potentially ruinous lyrics with solid song structures. This band’s been on a million comps lately, and while I don’t get the Jawbreaker comparisons I’ve been hearing—Abolitionist is way too literal, lyrically and otherwise—they are definitely on to something. Finishing touch is the awesome Horsebites artwork.

 –keith (1859)