TRAITORS: Everything Went Shit: CD

The Traitors were kind of a super-group in reverse. After the original members went their separate ways, singer Todd Pot fronted Apocalypse Hoboken, drummer Matt Skiba formed Alkaline Trio, and guitarist Mark Ruvolo formed No Empathy (I think. I know he was in both bands, I just don’t know which was first). Everything Went Shithas all thirteen songs that the original Traitors recorded, and those thirteen songs alone are enough to make this a killer album. Early Traitors’ songs sound a lot like Apocalypse Hoboken, but more straight ahead and no nonsense, less fucked up (this isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s just different). And Matt Skiba is a good drummer. He has a real knack for mixing up the tempo, slowing the songs down to a resonating intensity, then letting everything explode. After the album burns through the thirteen Todd Pot fronted songs, Billy Smith takes over the vocal duties, and he sounds strangely similar. You almost don’t notice at first, but as the album carries on, it becomes more evident. Likewise, the sound of the band gradually changes in the sense that you don’t notice at first, but by the time you get to the end of the album, it’s almost like you’re listening to a new band (which, due to member changes and all, you pretty much are). So it’s an interesting documentation of the life of a band, but it’s also seventy-plus minutes of good, gnarly punk rock.

 –sean (Johann’s Face)