For God and Country is quite a mature and focused debut, thanks largely to the leadership of singer Russ Rankin, whose deep personal convictions give the band an intelligently idealistic variation on SoCal punk, which tended to be prankish and silly in the 1990s (when most bands were trying to copy NOFX). And, unlike many punk bands with a message, Good Riddance consistently avoid the cliché of bellowing hollow antiestablishment mantras with no real meaning or thought behind them; songs like "Flies First Class" challenge the very core of American values with eloquence and passion. More personal tracks like "Lisa" and "Wrong Again" address disillusionment and failed relationships with confusion and bitter resignation. Musically, the band are typical of most Fat Wreck and Epitaph groups (they seem to have learned most of their tricks from the tremendously influential Bad Religion), but the group's heartfelt message gives their music a resonating power that lifts them above their contemporaries.
For God and Country Review
by Andy Hinds