ROGUE NATIONS, THE: Be Your Own Rogue Nation: CD

I really wanna like this, and I guess I do on some level, because I can hear they’re really trying to think outside of the usual punk/hardcore box like Secret Hate, the Minutemen, Angst, Rebel Truth and other such bands that I’ve admired over the years. The songs are delivered with a good amount of tension, the guitarist sounds like this hands are just flying all over the neck, and they seem to be putting much effort into what they were doing. Trouble is, something I can’t quite place seems to be missing from the equation. Maybe the production is a little flat and tempers the proceeding a bit, or the songs are occasionally busier than they should be, or one of the cylinders is sneakily misfiring. Either way, this fell more on the side of raised eyebrows than exclamations of “Great googly-moogly!” That bums me out a bit, but I’m willing to bet they go over much better live.

 –jimmy (suicidewatchrecords.com)