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There's no getting around it: With their blend of highly competent, speedy classic hardcore, with fits and starts of Operation Ivy-type uncommonly fast ska-punk thrown in, the debut LP of this new East Coast fivesome sounds a lot like Rancid with a much better, less-Clash-ified, less mealy-mouthed singer. Imagine the taut guitar explosions, singalong-all-ye-punks choruses, political and social topicalism of that better known veteran group, and a band whose breakneck pace is tempered by such tight playing and clearly enunciated lyrics, and you imagine the Code. On songs such as the title track, the stop-starts are so spot-on, you realize you've left behind the typical slop-bucket brigade. And the licks that follow the rapid-fire, prevalent ska tidbits are power-crunched and as gnarly as the best old Dischord band you still remember. They get no medals for breaking any new ground whatsoever -- this stuff is as old as the Black Hills -- but it doesn't matter that much. At least they play it like it's new to them and there's no tomorrow.

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