Break Anchor – Van Down By The River

As soon as this record’s first track kicked in I was a little disappointed – the first couple of bars sound like a Jawbreaker or Jets to Brazil intro, but the rest of ‘First World Problems’ is a punk by the numbers affair; if you like any Californian punk ever, this is for you.

The rest of the album is much of the same, albeit tighter and faster than the start. I really enjoyed the second track, it’s a more bouncy take on this kind of punk. The only thing I’d change is the whole ska break thing – it just isn’t for me. Aside from that, great track. Lots of little nods to Blake Schwarzenbach’s career peppered throughout the album and little bits that sound like O Pioneers!!!

There’s a lot of good work on this record, everything is tight as a drum and sounds really nicely recorded. The band really put their all into this – and it shows. It’s as bright and punchy as any Drive Thru recording from the early 2000s and as catchy and jump-a-long as any of the good Bouncing Souls records.

This record really picks up halfway through though; Beyond Occupy is my favourite on the record. Succinct, punchy, and followed by one of those Jawbreaker moments in 18 Winters.

Verdict: Worth a spin. I expect to hear it at parties all summer; it’s worth buying.

– Andy Blyth

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