INDEPENDENT PROGRESS: Anthems of Truth: CD

On one hand, I can understand how Anthems of Truth could be considered relatively standard fare, maybe even a smidge generic. They bring to mind some of the bands on the recently defunct PunkCore label or maybe even the gruffer, earlier material in the Dropkick Murphys catalog: streetpunk with a smidge of ska thrown into the mix. Gravel-packed vocals and lots of gang backups. On first listen, it didn’t come across as terribly memorable. On the other hand, there are moments where Independent Progress really shines—and it’s buried there in repetition, in giving it another shot. The biggest detriment to the streetpunk genre has always been the dipshit thug/gang mentality, how it’s often lyrically tantamount to a bunch of fucking bullies running around with guitars. Thankfully, none of that is present here. Honestly, the lyrics here are top-notch; well-spoken and articulate stuff that’s terrific on its own and absolutely jaw-dropping for the genre. It’s that intelligence, coupled with the fact that these dudes sound like they’re having a blast playing these songs, that carries this thing forward. The wheel isn’t necessarily being reinvented here, but that’s not really necessary. This is more than a passing nod—at least to this listener—to bands like the Strike and the Beltones, and that’s good enough for me. Genuine stuff.

 –keith (Independent Progress)