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Album Review: Neither Washington Nor Moscow… Again by Great Collapse

Great Collapse release their second album Neither Washington Nor Moscow… Again on 26th January via End Hits Records. The melodic hardcore supergroup fronted by Strike Anywhere singer Thomas Barnett combe utopian socialism, political activism and raging punk rock in an exhilarating and throbbing 30 minutes.

As well as Barnett, the band features current and ex-members of cult bands Rise Against, Death By Stereo, Nations Afire and Set Your Goals. In contrast to their debut album, Holy War, this record was created in a more spontaneous and organic way. Speaking of the process, Barnett says, “this record was written fast and furious over the Summer of 17, built out of Todd, Chris and Tom’s Portland basement jams that were noisy, sometimes uniquely structured, and all a bit angular. We wanted to keep that feeling, capture the noise and the heat and the frustration about these times.”

If politically charge punk floats your boat then this is essential listening, each of the 11 tracks either takes a critical view of today’s leaders or how things could be in an ideal world. Lyrically Barnett went deeper and darker than ever before: “The lyrics and songs are all a conceptual headlong rush into the last year and its horror and the broken bones of society erupting from the skin of this present danger in history.   We wanted to give a sound to the feeling of catching up to the present, as the breaking wave of our civilization’s flaws and addictions pours into every moment. That ‘No Going Back’ feeling.” It makes for a captivating listening, but to focus only on the lyrical content would do the album an injustice.

Put aside the incendiary lyrics and you’ve got a riotous and bombastic slab of hard punk rock. The majority is at breakneck speed, but that doesn’t come as a sacrifice to killer riffs. ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Forest for the Trees’ have the flavour of instant punk classic with the big riffs complemented by ferocious drumming and a driving bassline.

Special praise must be reserved for the effervescent punk of ‘Colony Blackout’ and ‘Patient Zero Comes Home’. Both are punk classics in waiting. The former starts out slowly before exploding in triumphant punk rock before the latter is a masterclass in righteous punk rock.

AD Rating 7/10

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