False Idle - Threat
Last year Thumper punk Records had string of releases that showed that the Christian punk rock scene was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with their secular counterparts in producing some solid and relevent punk rock. Are they about to repeat it again this year? One of this years up and coming releases, and a highly anticipated release, is from the band False Idle. Those of you whom do not know who they are, Sef Idle and Tyler Lewis use to be part of the punk band called Unisef, They are out of Boise, Idaho, USA. and the band comprises the collective talents of Sef Idle on vocals and guitar, Tyler Lewis on guitar and vocals, Seth Warren on bass and vocals, and Philip Harris on drums.
False Idle has already have two EP’s under their belt, namely"Hymns of punk rock praise” and “I refuse”, so when there was news about a new album coming out, I was pretty excited. Both previous releases were awesome so you can bet your bottom dollar I was over the moon when they released that they would put out another album. So this is something I have been waiting for some time now.
“Threat" is an extension of the last 2 releases and shows a grown maturity, both in production of the album and the skill set of the band itself . Not that "Threat" is a far cry different from their last exploits, but I think a lot of time was spent honing it to the best possible outcome within their abilities and means. On this release they favor the melodic punk root whilst incorporated within that, they include some hardcore overtones. This is positive punk rock served with social and political awareness tackling topical issues concerning America and life in general. Its a call to arms, a get off your butt and do something punk album. Challenging the Status quo of the world we live in.
On that note there is a song for everyone on this album and each who enjoys this release will undoubtedly have their favorite. This is one of those situations that you find when the overall package is that good. The album starts with what comes across as a siren echoing the call to battle, its a ballistic attack of racing guitars, and high energy drumming that ends with these words, a challenge of sorts, “Its time to fight for what we believe!”. “On Tomorrow” their first single off the album, is a solid anthemic punk song, with some great gang vocals, but might have been more at home on a Unisef release. Its also not the best song on here, but I think from a introductory perspective its not a bad song to garner attention with. Its like going to the supermarket and tasting a sample and going, “mmm, this is not bad, let me try another one”, and hopefully that would sell you on buying the whole box. “Facade" has some solid drumming, and great sing-a-along parts and is well composed, and they shift between the various time changes effortlessly, but the song sounds familiar for me, can’t place it though, and this is the danger with having so many bands out there, that you bound to have songs that come across similar or familiar sounding, but nevertheless a good song.
This is where the album starts coming in on its own, from “One Cause One Fight", this is an energy fueled punk anthem, and is filled with blue collar punk sentiments. Again Sef goes for the juggler calling for unity, boldness and courage, to stand against the darkness and fight as one, too not give in and push threw to the final blow “Through thick and thin we’ll fight, we’ll win, one cause one war that's all we’ve got and side by side we’ll win the fight, we’re one, were strong brothers, in arms one cause one war that all we know and we will battle to the final blow". “Among the Dead” comes in with an amazing intro, again anthem infused punk rock tunes is what False Idle do best and seem to feel most comfortable with. This is not your normal run of the mill punk song and actually shows off their skill set as each member works together, and each chord and beat move together, never seeming out of place from each other. It has a very commercial and a big arena feel to it. In managing to keep the rawness of what most punks enjoy, they have still managed to extend themselves to bring in some clean production qualities that gives them that radio friendly commercial appeal. They have a message here that needs to be heard by a broader spectrum of individuals, and them tapping into the commercial side of punk works well for them, and will in my books enhance the reach of their music to the guy on the street.
The stand out quality of “Land of Me” are the lyrics, which is poignant and relevant,”You know its all about me, in this land of the free...... and reveals a culture where selfishness has interpreted freedom as a right to take, take, take without the care of consequence, “...avoiding all my obligations, you say you’ll get anything you want, and you’ll do what it takes to get there”. It ends what seems to be a sincere cry of repentance, “Take the focus off of me, and help my eyes to see, how my life can truly make a difference, I want to feel it in my soul, I want love to take control, please take away this empty selfish heart, take away this selfish heart.”
“Threat” starts with a campfire intro before heading into a Street Dog type anthem blue collar street punk jaunt. The upbeat folky influence is a good compliment once again for the well written lyrics. Its fitting for the lyrical content. The song is also uncomplicated, easy on the ear and rather than the music driving the lyrics, here again I find the lyrical charge heading up the assault. In short, basically an affirmation that they gonna fight for what is right, and stand by their conviction of what is right no matter what, and that can be seen as a threat to society as a whole. “ A Tension” is one of my favorite tracks on this album, its a full on stampede of punk rock assault, it oozes buckets of spikey hair, studded jacket, doc martin wearing punk rock. “New brand of Revolution “, is for myself my favorite track, its a great song, even though its probably the most radio friendly song on here. Its has a little pop punk appeal mixed in to it, and can stand proud next to bands like Anti-Flag. If there is any song that could be heard regularly played on the airways off this album, I am certain it would be this one!. “Retaliate” is another song that for me brings to light the Unisef days, its fast, relentless, and comes out hell bent in snapping your neck in the process with its driving drum beat, and thunderous guitar sound. “Where Do We Go” is a great melodic punk song with radio friendly appeal. Its a fun and uplifting song. Almost can hum to it. My dad always said a great song is one you can hum too...haha. The album finishes of with the melodic street punk anthem, a song that encourages, and sets the ending with a positive message, “ ...You’re not alone, adversaries and foes, they’ll come, they’ll go, so don’t loose hope, my heart won’t fear, though war is near, In Christ alone I abide, your scared, no light, your strong, so fight, your not alone”. Great words to end was is a fantastic album overall.
In conclusion, this is punk rock gold, The songs are well composed and executed, and the momentum keeps rolling from start to finish without any real noticeable bump in the road. I do think though that the first two songs, though good do not bring merit to what lies beyond. I’d rather in my own opinion see “New brand of Revolution”, as a single, as it has wider audience appeal. Overall the songs work well together, the guitar playing is really good throughout, the drumming is solid. I'll tell you this, song order can break or make an album, and False Idle managed to get that right, and one gets the sense they put a lot of thought into the song order as it works pretty well in keeping the momentum of the album pushing forward. I think more than the music, the lyrics play a major role in the end result strength of this album. What you get here is like I said further up in the review for one of their songs, and it can be applied to the rest of the album also, “Threat" is a stampede of punk rock assault, that oozes buckets of spikey hair, studded jacket, doc martin wearing punk rock. It sets the bar very high, and certainly puts it as a strong contender for Christian punk album of the year. The album runs 12 songs in 30 minutes, in true punk rock tradition, and certainly that gears it for those with short attention spans like myself. Though this album is filled with Christian sentiments and convictions, I would say this album is not just for Christians and feeds to a broader spectrum of people. For me, its a relevant autopsy of the kind of world we live in, giving a brief examination of the battles we fighting, the war at hand, the struggle between darkness and light, and gives a positive call to arms, putting forth a challenge to all, to stand up and not to except the Status quo of this world. Certainly that status qou won’t change if we are all sitting sit on our back-sides. So is this album worth purchasing? Yes!!!! Its serves without dissapointment.
For fans of Anti-flag, Swellers,
Reviewed by Donovan de Necker
1. Sideswipe (0:52)
2. On Tomorrow (2:18)
3. Facade (3:43)
4. One Cause One Fight (2:52)
5. Among the Dead (3:12)
6. Land of Me (2:40)
7. Threat (3:13)
8. A Tension (1:54)
9. New Brand of Revolution (3:29)
10. Retaliate (1:10)
11. Where Do We Go (2:29)
12. In the Dark (2:44)
Hymns of punk rock praise (EP)
I refuse (EP)
Label: (Thumper punk records)
Sef Idle (vocals, guitar)
Tyler Lewis (guitar, vocals)
Seth Warren (bass, vocals)
Philip Harris (drums)
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/FalseIdlePunk
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