GC5, THE: Kisses from Hanoi/ Horseshoes and Handgrenades: CD

Glory be. It’s cool to hear from Razorcake #13’s cover boys, even if it’s a re-release. The increasingly more difficult to get Kisses from Hanoi LP, originally released by Outsider, cozied up to the Horseshoes EP, makes for some prime Cleveland fuck the man listening. This is the era where the GC5 came into true form. They shed the growing skins of being very sonically close to Rancid, established their footing, planted a political flag right in the ass of corporate America, and began making songs that simultaneously makes one want to raise beers and burn WalMarts to the ground. With lines like, “And I strive to bite the hand that’s feeding me at last/ And carry on the banner of the working class/ When I’m dead on my feet or shackled to the beat,” you know what you’re getting. Gritty, while retaining class-act songwriting, they sound like a super amplified and pissed-off gang of Johnny Cashes, updated to suit today’s discriminating punk tastes. By all means, that’s a great thing. This is their most political work (Never Bet the Devil Your Head became more personal.) Some of these songs are four years old and I still pull them out and crank them on.

 –todd (Thick)