CD REVIEW: Attack Ships on Fire - Punches are for Free
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"Packs a powerful Punch"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Attack Ships on Fire
CD: Punches are for Free
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: High Intensity Punk Rock
Sounds Like: Green Day, The Toadies, Black Flag, Social Distortion, Rancid
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Repetitive Catalogue
Attack Ships on Fire is a Punk Rock 4 piece Punk band based out of Portland, Oregon. Reading from their bio: Attack Ships On Fire plays intense, angry songs with a sense of humor. Firmly rooted on a foundation of punk rock, and with an impressively sarcastic wit, the attitude is clear: powerful music doesn’t have to be depressing. ASOF isn’t looking to redefine punk rock but we want to take it back from the people who just don’t understand that music is about sound and not image. Band consists of Mike Bell on vocals, Matt “Knuckles” Theodoroff on guitar, Allan Carter on drums, and Kevin Cameron on bass. The band co-wrote the songs and co-produced the CD.
The CD explodes in your face with “Let Me Be” a grinding guitar groove meshed against driving rock rhythm, emotionally charged vocal delivery and in your face vocal delivery from Bell and company. Track 2 “Punches Are Free” serves up another solid low end groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with hooky vocal accents and heartfelt vocal intensity. Track 3 my personal favorite “Indescribable” packs a powerful punch with its thought provoking lyrical content, pulsating rock groove meshed with an infectious rock melody that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Green Day, The Toadies, Black Flag, and even Social Distortion to Rancid. Right from the start you will notice “Attack Ships on Fire” feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. Make no mistake - this high intensity Puck Rock to the hilt. The overall musical vibe has a nice, raw punk indie feel to it. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as Knuckles dishes out impressive soaring guitar licks and a few mesmerizing solos to boot. Equally as impressive is thick as a brick rhythm section from Carter and Cameron. Bell delivers rock solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a standard 4 piece punk-rock band. I also didn’t fail to notice few solid vocal harmonies layered along the way either. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. From rocking ‘Double Down” to melodic “Back to You” to grooving “Slice of Life” to hypnotic “My Bad” to thought hilarious “Jerry Springer” to psychedelic Runway Requiem” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “Fashion Show” perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Overall this catalogue is guilty of being a bit repetitive as well - song for song.
In close Punches are for Free is an action packed production from start to finish. It’s strong suit – its raw feel almost as if you were watching a band play live in the studio. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation in the back clubs of Portland then that would be a very deadly combination no doubt. Beware this CD packs a powerful punch dishing out one solid song after the next like a 1-2 punch. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and powerful – and will no doubt get your adrenalin pumping.