A horrible hack



Year Released: 2012
Format: Download
Label: self released
Reviewed by Toby on Feb 7, 2013
I believe this download only EP exists in part in order to help fund the band’s next album (they have an Indie-Go-Go page up). I’m not a massive fan of download only releases (especially when a band has as great artwork, lyrics and explanations as Abolitionists) and I’m not sure about crowd-sourcing for albums (but that’s a whole other argument) but when a band is this good I’m going to throw them a few quid if it means getting more of this.

I have to admit I didn’t really know anything about this Portland band at all, in fact I was expecting some palm-muted half time filled hardcore but what I got was something approaching the hooks and arrangements of Dillinger Four (and I will never use that comparison lightly). Now before you get too excited, this band are not Dillinger Four (and no matter how many Off With Their Heads’ fans tell you – there can never be another Dillinger Four) but they are most certainly in the same ball park; creative arrangements, melodic, using thoughtful lyrics to bring politics to life and able to play a genre which has been bored to death by a million bands (I love No Idea but wow have they got responsibility for a whole world of pain) and give it new life. Though not afraid to throw in the odd waltz time or chugging riff, for the most part, Abolitionist play, for want of a better word (and someone please for the love of god create a better word…) mid-paced punk. The saving grace here is that rather than have a grizzled, whisky soaked gruff (it pains me to even write that word) bro-punk singing over the top, the vocals for Abolitionist have much more clarity (you can actually hear the words!) and uniqueness to them. Dustin’s (for Google tells me this is his name) vocals remind me at times of Eric from D4, then sometimes evoke Chris from Propaghandhi whilst at other more introspective moments on this EP bring to mind Hutch from The Thermals or even Mark from the Marked Men. It’s weird how this band can cover such a range on this five track release, moving from the incredible garage influenced “What we need is action” to the more epic, driving Naked Raygun sounding “Cut the head off this snake” without feeling like a mish-mash and I think massive credit must be given to whoever recorded these songs as they manage to keep a really cohesive sound throughout which really boosts the overall feel.

If you feel that the over-saturation of this genre is driving you to finally check out Dub Step or find out “what actually is Gangnam Style?” then hold off for a few minutes and download this EP first and feel relieved that the is still some potential for those who like music we can sing along to without having to switch our brain’s off first.

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