March 3, 2004
CHALLENGER [I]GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT IN LETHAL DOSES[/I] REVIEW
In the last few years it has become quite fashionable for former punk rock stars to drop their tough-guy attitudes, tone down the rock, and become neo-troubadours for a generation of heartbroken, self-loathing emo kids. Such is not the case with Challenger, the latest musical endeavor from the frontmen of the Chicago’s sociopolitical punk rock powerhouse, Milemarker. Rather than slowing things down, Dave Laney and Al Burian have cranked up the volume and produced an impressive ten-song debut packed full of anger, art, and angular post-punk anthems.
Give People What They Want In Lethal Doses kicks off with 'Input the Output', easily one of the best tracks on the album. Alternate guitar chords, catchy lead guitar lines, vocal harmonies, and intense energy immediately let you know that this is a band of good musicians and not just another bunch of wannabe Ramones who recently learned to play a few power chords. But the energy doesn’t stop at the first track; the entire album is equal mix of angst and mosh-worthy breakdowns. These guys also know a thing or two about writing great hooks; every song is catchy without being the least bit poppy. Unfortunately, towards the end of the album the energy that was so prevalent at the beginning starts to fade. There is a filler track or two thrown in and then the album comes to a close with the Trojan Horse, a song that is a little slower than the others, but is a decent song to close out this very solid release.
Overall, this is a great album that has the energy to keep you interested almost the whole way through and the great songwriting that will keep you coming back again and again. It is one of those albums that gets you excited when you listen to it, like the first time you heard Husker Du or Black Flag. It is definitely one of the better punk rock albums this year, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for these guys. I would recommend this to Milemarker fans or anyone that is a fan of all-around good punk rock.
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