“Punk is not dead”, this would’ve been a better album tittle. This was the first thing I thought of when I got into listening to this album.
Living in 2015, 45 years after the emergence of punk rock’s movement, this kind of music has been subjected to so many developments and alterations to the extent that it became unrecognizable and mixed up with other genres. It’s safe to say that punk IS dead, and other genres like power pop, punk pop and pop rock are the ones that are alive, breathing and taking control. This is what I used to believe until I was asked to review this self-titled album by the rising new band The Tommy Knockers. Well, Vintage punk, that’s all I have to say, I couldn’t believe that the album was released in April 2015, everything about the record is punk, 70s and 80s punk, like If I added a track from this album to a classic punk rock playlist and asked someone to spot the track produced in 2015 they wouldn’t be able to.
It seems like as if the trio Tommy Cappel, Stephen Sherman and, Jay Baskette somehow invented a time machine, traveled to the past, and jumped back to our time to play this music. Perfect fit…
Fact is, not every rebellious and apathetic track should be considered punk, for a musical piece to be called punk it has to have some attributes and they are all present in this record. Tracks are mostly short lived with an average duration of 2:15 minutes, packed with heavily condensed, fast going guitar and drums that you just get lost in the speed and get into that idiotic punk rock mood swinging your neck right and left and maybe even sticking your tongue out a bit going full retard in a way you couldn’t possibly regret – well, at least that’s what I did.
Lyrics are, well, of course hard to recognize due to the speed. The theme is rebellious, edgy, antisocial, anti-establishment, and of course it wouldn’t actually be considered punk if it didn’t express hate towards MTV.
Stuff like: “I don’t care about folk rock And I don’t care about old stuff And I don’t care about all those vinyl records that make you think you’re so cool And I don’t give a lick about the poetry you sing about And I don’t care about… ”
From the first track of the album ‘Hipsters, Vinyl and Puke’, that says “Every brain’s polluted by the junk on the MTV station” to ‘It’s Not Gonna Stop’ and “I really got it out for nobody, nobody, The government shuts down and I don’t mind, To live in ignorance like somebody, somebody, That’s the existence that I’ve come to find ” proves my point. The only thing that they missed to perfectly perfect the punk rock mood is a crazy meaningless track just showing how wasted they are, you know… that kind of music that makes you go like “Damn, they definitely been on something while making this”, didn’t find that on the album and I think it’s the only thing missing.
Lastly, I would like to say that this trio is off to a good start, maybe with the right publicity and promotion we might see more of them on the rock scene based on what I heard on this album. This musical product and these musicians definitely deserve more appreciation and recognition, definitely underrated.
Edited by: Ahmed S. Khalil