The Trigger Complex

T.S.O.L.

Rise Records, 2017

http://www.facebook.com/TsolOfficial

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/16/2017

On their first record since 2011, the classic lineup of TSOL, frontman Jack Grisham, guitarist Ron Emory, bassist Mike Roche, and keyboardist Greg Kuehn are joined by a new drummer and have decided to do things a bit differently.

“Give Me More” is a throwback to old school, classic TSOL: great keyboards, excellent guitar work, and great vocals from the formidable Mr. Grisham. The band’s mixture of punk, pop, goth, and alternative rock always made them stick out from the rest of the ‘80s hardcore scene, and they’ve managed to hold onto their crown of being so different. “Satellites” is one of the weaker tracks here. It just doesn’t do much of anything and is just dull and bland. The same thing goes for “The Right Side.” While it’s done well, it just can’t seem to rise above mediocrity.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“I Wanted to See You,” on the other hand, is unquestionably one of my favorite songs of the year. It’s a completely well done pop-ish song. It sort of brings in a newer era of TSOL than what old school fans might wish and pine for, but if this is any indication of future records, then sign me up; I’m all in!

“Strange World” is a nice, eerie ballad carried by Grisham’s vocals and Kuehn’s superb keyboard work. On the other hand, “Why Can’t We Do It Again” slows things down a bit too much for my liking. Not everything’s here is a winner, but the better songs outweigh the mediocre.

“Wild Life” is a bit of a different sound for the band, and one thing’s clear upon listening: if this TSOL isn’t for you, then you’re not welcome because they’re definitely going to do things exactly how they want, damn the consequences. Same thing goes for “Nothing Ever Lasts,” which starts off with acoustic guitar which definitely threw me for a loop. It’s quite weird and different, but also quite good.

While the latter half of the record drags a bit, this is an enjoyable punk record overall from a band that’s been around longer than most of the kids both playing and attending the Warped tour.

Rating: B

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