ALTAIRA: Weigh Your Conscience: CDEP

I really should recuse myself from reviewing this record, but since Antonin Scalia doesn’t have a problem adjudicating his conflicts of interest and his decisions have far-reaching implications which substantially affect the lives of myself and others, I’ll happily assess the virtues and merits of these seven songs, especially since I became friends with these people largely because I’m a fan of the band. First of all, certain bits of Southern California and Florida punk are so similar that the regions sound like they’re separated by a county, not a country. I’m not talking about the bro hymns from HB or combat-wounded grindcore; I’m thinking of the drunken, anthemic, heroic gestures of defiance offered by bands which live in vans, don’t bother to replace broken strings in the middle of the set because they didn’t need that one anyway and simply strive to do something that most horse race handicappers would put beyond their reach. It’s quixotic and noble, something more realistic than futile but far less practical than most people will ever be capable of understanding. Sure, people used to more polished and less nourishing fare may find it rough around the edges, but this is the shit that always has me dancing, that makes me forget about the small and large insults and indignities that tomorrow will inevitably bring because, at least for these moments, anything seems possible all over again.

 –scott (ADD)