RAGING NATHANS: Oppositional Defiance: LP

I’ve known for a number of years now that I was no longer connecting to four black T-shirt punk rock. If I go see a band and it’s four dudes in black T-shirts (most likely black band T-shirts), my gut reaction is to exit the room and wait out the band and their T-shirts elsewhere. It just seems like someone else’s music to me these days, similarly to the way I’ve always felt about metal. It bastes my sensitive soul with yuck, and who needs that? Luckily, after intense photographic study, I noticed that one Raging Nathan occasionally wears a white—not black— T-shirt, imparting unto me the strength to complete this review. So, while I did not come into this undertaking with a particularly positive attitude, after playing this record a few times and reading the lyrics along with the music, I must admit that these guys are really pretty good (insulting but necessary caveat: “in a four black T-shirt sort of way”). They remind me of an amped-up version of the pop punk bands of the first half of the ’90s—before pop punk became entirely about the craft of making pop punk—when pop punk still exhibited fealty towards the hardcore of the previous decade, and the melodic aspects were just a new way to get leverage on the knife (Screeching Weasel’s Wiggle album came to mind, but that really might just be the handwriting). This is a lot more cathartic; a lot more, uh, raging (so to speak). But buy some different shirts! BEST SONG & BEST SONG TITLE, ALBEIT DEPRESSING: “One Day Closer (To Death).” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I thought the font on the cover was Friz Quadrata Bold but it wasn’t. –Rev. Nørb (Rad Girlfriend)