Much the Same

Quitters Never Win

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Two things that punk bands usually don't appreciate: being compared to candy, and being compared to the Proclaimers. But sorry, there's just no escaping either comparison in the case of Chicago's Much the Same. Their overall sound is like nothing so much as the taste of a really good dark chocolate filled with nuts and caramel: dark, crunchy, bittersweet. And the call-and-response vocals on "Conclusion" and soaring harmonies on "Liar" sound, strangely enough, quite a bit like similar moments on the Proclaimers' early albums. That's not to say that if you're a Proclaimers fan you're going to find much to like here: Much the Same is a punk band in the grand Chicago tradition, playing tighter, faster, louder rock & roll that balances nicely the twin imperatives of jet-engine roar and singalong melody, making you feel happy to be alive by yelling joyfully about friendships betrayed ("New Years"), lost love ("One of a Kind"), and filial ambivalence ("Father & Son"). Nope, there's nothing new here, but Much the Same makes the same old themes sound fresh and vital. Highly recommended.

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