Classics of Love

© 2012 Asian Man Records
Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

Firstly I have to admit that I’ve been waiting for this release since I first caught wind of it last year. I’ve been a fan of much of the past efforts that have lead to this release and I can’t say that I am disappointed by what the new album has to offer. Secondly, here is some good news. Punk’s not dead. For real this time.

For those who are unaware, Classics of Love is the current musical project of Jesse Michaels of Operation Ivy, Big Rig and more recently Common Rider. Jesse and co., a.k.a. the San Jose band, Hard Girls, combine to form the whole of this newest venture. The self-titled release is follow up to the Walking in Shadows EP. With 13 tracks on the new full length, we’re offered a bit more substance this time around, just for sheer virtue of quantity. (Quality notwithstanding)

Musically, the sound offers a nice split between the early sounds of Op Ivy and the more sophisticated sounds of Common Rider but with a decidedly more raw punk edge. As a side note, if you get the chance, see this band live. While the recorded material is completely rad, it pales in comparison to the songs performed live. I dare say they are one of the best bands I’ve seen perform.

Lyrically, the album is very socially aware. I’ve read some interviews with Jesse Michaels and while he asserts that he isn’t trying to be overtly political, the songs certainly have their finger on the pulse of some modern western problems. The songs, however, aren’t trying to cram ideas down your gob, as much as they are throwing out a point of view. They are bringing voice to the current state of hypocrisy in a world that really could use the change we’ve all been promised.

Anyway, if you’ve ever been a fan of any of the bands mentioned, this album would be hard pressed to disappoint. The bottom line is: 13 tracks of punk rock with a skapunk pedigree and a strong sense of society, political or otherwise, to boot.

–Jerry Actually

For fans of: Operation Ivy, Big Rig, Common Rider, Hard Girls

Tracks:
1.What A Shame
2.Castle In The Sky
3.World of the Known
4.Gun Show
5.Stronghold
6.Moving Pictures
7.It Will Not Be Moved
8.Bandstand
9.Would-Be Kings
10.Last Strike
11.Light Rail
12.Dissolve
13.We Need A Change

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