DISTRICT: Don: CD

Neither as good as i’d hoped nor as bad as i’d feared, District are that kinda vaguely melodic, vaguely streety Britpunk that i associate with not-terribly-essential bands like Chron Gen and The Adicts (although, to be fair, there’s only one Brit in the band, the rest are Germans—which, i suppose, makes it Germpunk), who, if you’d like me to break it down into terms of purely American bands, sound like a cross between Pariah and Rancid with Joey Vindictive’s younger, healthier brother on vocals. They hit the relative bullseye a few times (“I Crisis”), but, for the most part, this material strikes me as being too secretly derived from ‘70s rock (one’d think perhaps the album’s title being spelled out across the knuckles of the band members on the cover a la Slade’s Slayed? LP [well, ok, that wasn’t the album title, that was the band name, but you know what i mean] might’ve been a tip-off)—instead of having that nice, constant, headlong momentum of punk, the guitars are always going BAAA-BAAA-BAAA, and the drums are going BISH-BISH-BISH along with the guitars, the beats of the songs are always getting broken up and interrupted by these sort of punctuations and choreograph-ations and orchestrations—it’s like those longer songs on the second Clash album (“All the Young Punks [New Boots and Contracts]” and “Last Gang in Town” are the ones i’m thinking of)—the structure of the songs just seems pointlessly dramatic (although District is pointlessly dramatic much more rapidly than the Clash were). Basically, it seems like there was a lot of thought put into the music on this record (which is cool) but there really wasn’t that much legitimate inspiration behind it—you know, the kind of inspiration that possesses a man to run home and bash out “New Rose” or “Nervous Breakdown” with little or no advance warning. Oh well, at least they have the writing-on-the-knuckles schtick; i’m queer for that in a big bad way. BEST SONG: “I Crisis” BEST SONG TITLE: “No Heart” …if you’re the Vibrators. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “DON’T MESS WITH THE HARD PUNKS” is the longest string of alphanumeric characters i have ever seen written across human knuckles. I think the previous front-runner was “ELWOOD.”

 –norb (I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison)