98 Mute

After the Fall

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Blending the usual Epitaph pop-punk sound with the aggressive skatepunk of the early-'80s scene, 98 Mute has a firm grasp on what makes for good action music. This is almost custom-made for skate parks, as the songs are fast-paced, angst-ridden, darkly humorous, and ultimately confident anthems that contain good messages and smart lyrics. The songs do tend to blend together after a while, a problem that haunts a good 80 percent of punk music anyway. But the overall sound that 98 Mute creates is what makes them so appealing; they don't rely on goofy songs about girls or self-deprecating pop songs, they take influence from Bad Religion and Join the Army-era Suicidal Tendencies and write catchy political anthems instead. With a strong sense of dynamics and a perfect running time, this album is a great soundtrack for an action-packed summer day, or at least for a really good episode of the X Games.

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