Wow, my old band played with these black-clad hockey goons in the ‘90s; that was two NHL strikes ago! Perhaps not surprisingly, time has neither mellowed nor dried out this Empire State squad on this, their fourth album ((thus, by inference, their Road to Ruin)), who arise with all appropriate ferocity to ascend to their rightful place as either the Mentors of hockey punk, the Nine Pound Hammer of the rink, the Zeke of the ice, the Hanson Brothers minus the Ramones-based levity, or the Dropkick Murphys if hockey was the new Irish and that Slap Shot band didn’t fuck everything up for everyone in the first place. If you were looking for a record containing the line “goal scoring whiskey drinking motherfucker” this month, you’ve clearly come to the right community ice center. BEST SONG: “Rookie Season.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Hosers Sing the Blues.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Conveniently included in the package is both a CD version of the album AND a drink coaster… now both you AND a friend will have a place to set their beers!
–norb (Drug Front)