The Havoc

Our Rebellion Has Just Begun

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A forceful and positive debut, the Havoc's Our Rebellion Has Just Begun manages to promote aggressively a thoughtful, socially progressive point of view without lapsing into needless finger-pointing or sanctimonious preaching. For example, the anti-drug "Live or Die" spells out a junkie's options in utterly black and white terms, with just enough snotty spin to make it sound as if they don't particularly care which is chosen, which makes the song that much more effective. Similarly, "We're All to Blame" makes a strong case for dismantling the partisanship and backbiting that impede actual progress, and cannily, the song is otherwise left open-ended; it could apply to Republicans and Democrats, Israelis and Palestinians, or the "Tastes Great" versus the "Less Filling" caucuses equally well, which again keeps the song from mere sloganeering. Musically, the album is just as solid; songs like the opening "Death Comes Fast" (which even has a classic old-school mosh part!) and "Another Cause" mix blinding speed and a sharp sense of start-stop dynamics with some good old-fashioned pop hooks in the manner of the first wave of U.K. punk bands. Luckily, whenever punk seems like it's finally coiled itself into a dead end, a few young new bands appear with just enough spirit to make everything old seem new again.

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