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Askew Review 15

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- This Sinking Ship (Fat Wreck) Starting in Boston, but relocating to Richmond, VA (not sure where they call home these days), Smoke or Fire play good punk rock that teeters between power punk and rock/punk. Make sense? Whether it be the opening, verse, or chorus, most of the songs own elements of hectic punk, but ooze into something slower and melodic. I thoroughly enjoyed the tempo of the songs and the often heavy lyrics; no one will ever accuse these guys of holding their tongues. While singer Joe's voice is pitched to high for me, makes it impossible for me to sing along in my monotone voice, he sings his arse off and really lays into his words with every ounce of his scrotum. The catchy "Irish Handcuffs" deals with boozin' and its often negative outcome, while "Cars" deals with touring, which actually comes across a bit whiney. The schizophrenic "Shine," which shines the CD's finest drumming, is pretty much dead on concerning the government, but I do not have as much faith as the band when it comes to citizens halting our politicians' lunacy. To help back up this 12 song effort, Smoke or Fire are touring like maniacs! - Denis Sheehan



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