TSOL: Disappear: CD

Maybe I’m risking my punk rock credentials by admitting this (oh no! Don’t let the punk police take my punk rock passcard away!), but I’ve never heard a full TSOL album up until now. I always got the impression that they’re one of those bands that’s a lot better-known in California, like Love and, um, well, no one else springs to mind, probably because I’ve never lived in California. I know they’ve had a lot of instability in the past, including some kind of legal problem that temporarily prevented a reunited lineup of the founding members of the band from performing as “TSOL” – shades of Moby Grape (or Yes, if you want to be unkind). Disappear is doin’ it for me, though – lots of screeching punk rock guitar and nonstop rhythms. They’ve got the shit down – just sitting here listening gives me that long-absent desire to crash into people and pump my fist in the air and shout along with the choruses, and goddamnit, isn’t that what punk rock is supposed to do? This is the kind of music that comes to my mind when I hear people refer to “California punk rock,” though these days they more often seem to mean some collegiate punk-pop band that has more tattoos than talent. No radio-friendly bullshit here as far I can hear, thank god. The need to include radio-ready singles on albums has nearly destroyed the credibility of punk rock the same way it did metal and hard rock, and here TSOL manages to keep the hooky catchiness of the songs without some idiot trying to slick it up to sound like Blink 182.

 –guest (Nitro)