Anyone who knows me personally or reads this blog on a somewhat regular basis will know I make no bones about my love of catchy pop punk. And the Midwest has some of the best pop punk bands out there. So, if you're like me, you'll really dig Sink The Bismark's latest album "Sine Metu" (I Hate Punk Rock Records). This album is a 10 song power blast of super cool punk rock. The band hail from St. Louis, MO and cite bands like Against Me!, The Loved Ones and The Menzingers as music influences. The album has lots of sing along choruses and big harmonies, which is what really makes pop punk so great, in my opinion.
Songs like "Dear Baltimore" and "Liars Last Call" have an equal amount of punch and catchy riffs that keep the listener focused on the tunes themselves. These are a couple real stand out tracks for me. Singer/guitarist Andy Binder has a really good voice. You can hear some influences in his vocal styling, but at the same time he's got an original sound as well. The band, guitarist Matthew Brennecke, bassist Mike Kostecki and drummer Calvin Simmons, really hold things together with tight playing, never letting the song take on more than it really needs. The songs are well written and precise in their approach.
"A Midwestern Classic" is a great song about unity and friendship. If you're luck you'll have a few really close friends in your lifetime who'll have your back, and you'll have theirs. This is a song about those friends. Just a great tune! "Closet Monsters" is the hardest track on the album. With lyrics about dealing with the daily in's and out's of being a hard working blue collar guy, it's a song I know I can relate to. And I'm sure a lot of you can relate as well. The album closes with "I Pass Like Night". With it's soft ska start you may be fooled into thinking it's something it's not. But it takes a sharp right turn and lets loose with a great hard riff, guitar solo and more sing along lyrics. This one caught me off guard, that's for sure.
I honestly like this album a lot. It's got power, passion, great playing and well crafted songs. Sink The Bismark really nailed it with this album, which is a feat in itself. Most of the time it takes a band a few releases to really hit it's stride. I think these guys have hit it already. I like the structure of the songs and the way it makes me THINK as well as groove with the beat. I'm looking forward to hearing more from this band. And I'm interested in seeing these guys live when they come to Chicago. All in all "Sine Metu" is a really great album by some cool young upstarts.
4 / 5 stars.