Knuckle Sandwich

Nice

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    6
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Incredibly catchy, but -- similar to fellow northeasterners H2O -- not in a way that fits into any predetermined Epitaph or emo mold, Knuckle Sandwich's main problem is having a name that says nothing about the music. It's not brutish or silly as the moniker suggests; rather, the Jersey foursome likes big guitar riffs propelled by excellent melodic vocals courtesy of Rich Vavrence, and whether those riffs are from punk, hardcore, or even cheeseball metal ("Show Me the Rock" quotes Metallica and namechecks Mötley Crüe and Dokken) is irrelevant as long as they're loud. The post-9/11 patriotism paean "American Song" stands out among simple, yet effective lyrics that lightly address some serious issues, but mostly encapsulate the monotony of suburban boredom. The Nice debut makes the group come off like a more street, modernized East Coast Bad Religion in terms of sonic power, strong harmonized vocals, and an uncanny ability to pen memorably spirited songs.

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