The world is changing rapidly and seems to be getting crazier everyday. Instead of acknowledging the chaotic world around them, people are more interested with what celebrities have to say on Twitter, while also posting endless amounts of selfies. Luckily there is one thing that shall not change, and that is the rebellious nature of hardcore punk music that will always flip the bird at those who follow the system of mindless rodents. Kicker reminds us all that punk is eternal and no matter how old you get, one will never trade-in their punk attitude for some fancy pair of pants and membership to the local yacht club.
For their sophomore album appropriately titled, “Rendered Obsolete,” the Bay Area punk veterans in Kicker continue to crank out old school hardcore punk hit with each tune. Just like with their previous release, “Not You,” Kicker is speaking from the perspective of aging punk rockers who try and maintain their angry nonconforming spirit in this modern world. The new release is written to where I think the band connects with a variety of listeners who find themselves not being able to adapt to this evolving technology obsessed society. As someone who really enjoyed the band’s last album, “Not You,” and has seen them live a couple times, I find Kicker’s music to convey plenty of pissed off sounding attitude that allows listeners to forget everything around them and just unleash their inner punk.
The new album begins with a classic sounding kick ass punk song called, “You Can’t Take Me Anywhere.” I can relate to the song, especially when I am with my family and friends who must endure my sarcastic sense of humor. Kicker really crafted a solid piece with, “You Can’t Take Me Anywhere,” and it is a strong track to open the album. The next song, “Shit At Kicker,” deals with those who can’t play the table top soccer game and find themselves drinking in shame as their friends keep scoring the goals. Pete “The Roadie” demonstrates great personality when singing the lyrics and maintains his top notch punk vocal delivery. Track three, “Soggy Dad,” is a chord blitz of hardcore fury and the gritty vicious sounding punk guitar sound is achieved by one of the underground’s top players, Matt “Mauz” Parrillo. Also, Dave Ed provides plenty of impressive bass lines and drummer Toby Bitter lays down a furious drum sound.
All these guys are veterans and once you get to the middle of the album, you realize that there is not one dual moment. Take the title track for example, it begins with this passionate speech railing against the technology obsessed society while the riff slowly builds up in the background. The lyrics deal with someone who hates their soul sucking job and eventually gets terminated once their employers decide to use machines to handle all the work. A robotic sounding voice actually tells Pete during the song that he has been terminated since they now have new advanced robots to do the work. Luckily there is no software program that can replace Pete’s brilliant punk vocals...(Android Punks Coming to a Store Near You!)
The song “Brown Bread,” takes a break from the high energy classic punk formula and has these unconventional chord progressions. Also, the bass lines create this unique sounding atmosphere which sounds hypnotic at times. Pete seems to be loosing his mind and humorously babbles about dying and then going to a big bar in the sky. The following song, “Full English,” returns to the fast paced pissed off punk sound that has grown to become unmistakable when listening to Kicker. “You Suck” and “Timeless Cliches,” are a couple enjoyable tracks that feature more angry sounding jams and memorable lyrical moments. The backing vocals stood out more on this album compared to the band’s previous release, which I think added something extra to certain songs like the verse and chorus parts on, “Timeless Cliches.”
The final song, “Plastic Button,” was sort of bitter sweet. I enjoyed the old school punk attitude and sound of it, but I felt like there should have been more tracks to follow. Compared to their first album, this release seemed shorter in length. However, even though there are less songs than the previous release, each song on “Rendered Obsolete,” is memorable and you won’t be disappointed if looking for a solid punk release. So turn up the volume, grab yourself some lager and chips, and enjoy this new release by Kicker. Seriously, get a copy now! They have a vinyl format colored the same as Dave Ed’s hair!
Kicker "Rendered Obsolete":
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