Review by Jake Jeremy.
Another Ride is the third album from Italian melodic hardcore outfit Thanx 4 All The Shoes, due to be released on November 25th on Disconnect Disconnect Records in the UK.
In their 11 years together, Thanx 4 All The Shoes have toured all over mainland Europe and Japan, building a reputation for their technical skill and thought-provoking lyrical messages. You can expect shades of melodic hardcore and thrash in the style of Propagandhi and Strung Out, however with a name like Thanx 4 All The Shoes I’m slightly gutted I’m not listening to a NOFX tribute band. Either way, I’m jumping in with gleefully expectant ears.
Opening track One Pen One Book instantly draws comparisons to Propagandhi, but I’m actually getting more of an 80’s thrash vibe from the quickly muted guitar attack and vocal approach. Think Anthrax and Megadeth if Chris Hannah wrote their newest tracks. It is a solid opening and a promising precursor to the rest of this album.
Title track Another Ride and it’s much of the same: fast and melodic with a twin guitar attack reminiscent of Propagandhi. What stands out most is the high-flying vocal harmonies and METAL AS HELL midsection where small guitar flourishes embellish another 80’s thrash thrill ride. This is what I want from this band: the sections where they truly let fly and break away from what’s ‘expected’ within standard modern hardcore are what set them apart.
Russian Roulette starts and I’m not disappointed. Vocally this track hits harder and fiercer, with the song once again vibing on a thrash aesthetic. It clocks in at only 1:07, the shortest on the whole release.
Son of The Gun starts with an excellently chosen sample from a rather famous movie. For copyright reasons I will say that the main actor’s name rhymes with Tint Yeastwood. The band teeters at the perilous point of heading into ‘meh’ hardcore, but instead they steer it into excellent thrash beautifully. It’s another groove-laden track where the vocal styling kicks up a notch into Bruce Dickinson territory.
Hope and Wait is a complete change of style to break up the LP. This track sees the Fat Wreck influence shine through, and it wouldn’t sound out of place on a No Use For A Name album.
Declaration of War is next, and before I had even heard this I decided it was definitely going to sound like Megadeth’s Holy Wars because if I was this band that’s what I would do. Spoiler: it sounds just like Holy Wars and it includes the first proper guitar solo on the album. FUCKING YES lads, you smashed it here. Best song on the album bar none, and I haven’t even finished listening yet. So how do you follow that? Go proper melodic. That is exactly what Decade is: a more uplifting piece that flows with twin guitar harmonies.
42042 might sound like Gareth Southgate’s next tactical masterplan but alas it’s not, it’s a song with a crowd pleaser shout-along vibe alongside that twin guitar attack once again. The vocals on this track are another high, bringing an uplifting feeling to the forefront. The Propagandi-vibe returns on penultimate track Wasted Life, however I don’t believe that’s where the band’s strengths lie: they excel instead on the thrashier songs. The album’s most gentle moment comes from the heavily post-rock influenced intro on final track Postcard From Kobane. This track also feels the most personal lyrically, with the singer speaking directly to his parents. It finishes with a reprisal of the intro that gently fades away.
I’m no longer gutted that Thanx 4 All The Shoes aren’t a NOFX tribute band. These guys are clearly influenced by the 80’s thrash scene and it really sets their style apart from others. I’m sure some punks will like the more melodic aspects of this release, but for me it’s the thrash vibe that really sets this band apart from the rest of the scene. I’ve just spent twenty minutes trying to type this review with devil horn fingers and I don’t regret a single second of it.
For now… So long Thanx 4 All The Shoes.
Another Ride is out on November 25th on CD or digital download on Disconnect Disconnect records in the UK and No Reason Records in Italy. It’s also available on vinyl via Netherlands’ White Russian Records.
Review by Jake Jeremy.