PUNCH: They Don’t Have to Believe: CD/LP

Punch’s latest (and perhaps last?) offering is full-on blistering hardcore punk. (At the time I write this, vocalist Meghan has left the band, but the rest of the members haven’t said whether they’ll continue.) They Don’t Have to Believe is fifteen songs in nineteen minutes, ranging from five seconds to two-and-a-half minutes. It isn’t as catchy or emotionally powerful as their Nothing Lasts EP. Instead, it reminds me of early 2000s youth crew hardcore that itself was trying to imitate 1980s youth crew hardcore. There’s not a lot that’s original here, which is disappointing in light of the potential they’ve shown on past releases. All the pieces are there and this isn’t a bad album, per se, just not fulfilling my expectations. 

 –kurt (Deathwish)