Home from Home

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The wide-eyed punk rock of Millencolin continues to improve on Home From Home, their follow-up to the bizarre No Cigar EP. Where that release showed the band experimenting with heavy metal dynamics, this album brings them closer to the post-Hüsker Dü sound that major labels unsuccessfully tried to harness in the early '90s. Don't worry, the band hasn't turned into the Fretblankets overnight. Instead, their songs seem to have a better grasp of atmosphere and their sound is much more filled out than before. "Man or Mouse" is a great opening track, blending the hard assault of Bad Religion with the moody throb of the Afghan Whigs. "Punk Rock Rebel" is a ska-tinged barnburner that pays tribute to the punks that inspired the band to pick up that lifestyle, while "Happiness for Dogs" is a frustrated ode to the yearning that comes with being a young dirtbag. A few tracks still harken back to earlier years, especially "Botanic Mistress," but they do so with a mildly poppier twist than before. This album showcases a band that is not afraid of growth, and luckily they have not taken the easy way out yet and rehashed the simplistic punk of their early years. Home From Home is easily one of the best albums in their catalog, and any fan of melodic punk rock should give this a listen; there are some great songs to be found here.

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