Billy No Mates' Second Album
Apparently, a side project from Duncan of Punk Rock Band Snuff. This album is most definitely in the punk vein although you wouldn't really know it from the vocals until about halfway into the album. Opening with "058", the guitars immediately begin to get on my nerves. Too whiney and full of treble for my liking. The vocals seem too distant and nasal almost. Its certainly not hard like punk rock should be. It sounds more like a couple of blokes having a little sing song down the pub. It's too muted and indecipherable.
Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that this particular album, a followup to "We Are Legion" was recorded in Tokyo, with the Japanese members of the band. Judging by the vocals and the monster on the front cover, this is probably the case. Apparently the goal was to have 3 bands playing in separate countries, 'cept the American version didn't work out.
The backing drumming is suitably fast paced, along with the backing guitar though by the third track on the album, "Lets done", I'm getting quite bored already and its just the noise that seems to be keeping me going. "We all have bad days" brings in the organ, which doesn't sound out of place. that should pretty much give you the gist of this particular band. I'm beginning to yawn and find out where this is all going. "The old Guard" applies a little more bass and some heavier chords, with a slower rhythm and longer, more drawn out vocals, providing a slight counterpoint to the previous mish-mash. I still don't have a clue what this band is saying, nor do I really feel it.
Things do change a little with "KGB". Things get a tad heavier and meaner and I'm beginning to like that. Probably because it's light on the vocals (to the point of having none), though there's still a little organ in there. Too much for my liking. The drumming is nice and visceral though, which is always necessary for a punk band.
"You are 7th in the queue" finally has some guts to the vocals and actually sounds like a proper punk band. I suspect they brought in an extra vocalist for this one. This is much more punk rock as we know it. "Sake Bomb" is also quite good, and I think this is because the band aren't singing in English. It certainly sounds much more fun than the earlier part of the album. In fact, the latter half of the album is probably where it's at to be honest. Its meaner and sounds harsher. Vocally, it certainly picks up and I think that's where Billy No Mates needs to concentrate. I know the Japanese can do punk, and this record does show that side of things, but only in a few places. I suspect only hardcore (is there any other kind?) punks will like this record. It's not really for everybody.