Article by Ollie Stygall.
What compels a band to reunite? Well, for some, like Guns And Roses, the lure of the mighty dollar and recent diminishing return in terms of popularity and quality are certainly a factor… But what of those bands who achieved small to medium success then fell apart amidst relationship issues/money issues/lack of greater success, etc.? Surely there can only be one reason: because they want to. Time is a great healer in terms of relationships, people have moved on to have careers outside of music and aren’t struggling so much financially, and gradually that desire to rock out again hits so bands reform… not because they need to, but because they want to. That’s the best reason to be in a band.
But can it ever be as good as it was before? Has age tempered the youthful rage? Well, from personal experience, having a career, having a family, being a homeowner and becoming more aware of the world actually increases the rage, so I would argue that bands that are reaching or have reached middle age are probably more effective at playing punk rock than they were 20 years ago.
Consumed existed from 1994 to 2003 and achieved a level of success that a lot of bands would dream of, signing to Fat Wreck Chords, BYO and Golf in their career, all legendary punk rock labels, and touring the world. Now they’re back… because they want to be.
This 6 track EP, Decade of No, is all the proof they need to show that they haven’t lost any fire in the last 15 years, or any of the style and song-writing ability that drove them previously. The fact that it has taken 3 years from initially reforming to actually releasing something shows that this isn’t a band chasing the spotlight or desperate for attention. They’re rushing nothing because they want to do this on their terms, in their own time and do it right.
Listen to Decade of No back to back with their debut EP Breakfast At Pappa’s from 1998 and it’s a seamless transition. The sound, the energy and, most importantly, the songs are all perfectly in place. It sounds as though they’ve never been away.
Opener Wake Up Warning starts with the sound of a guitar being plugged in, then then we’re off. The 6 tracks here are tough, melodic (but not pop) punk of the very finest quality. The hooks are insistent and catchier than nits at a slumber party. You will walk away from one listen humming them – fact!
If you’re familiar with Consumed then you will know exactly what to expect. If not, you get fat, crunchy guitars with a metallic edge, coarse yet melodic vocals, breakneck tempos and big singalong choruses. You also get a keen sense of humour with titles like Obscene Like Beverly Dean with its classic chorus of, “Whatever happened to Beverly Dean / council estate beauty queen,” and the potential classic What Would Cliff Burton Do? which comes complete with vintage style Metallica riffing (don’t let that put you off, there was a time Metallica were fantastic!).
There are times listening to this I’m reminded of a harder version of The Jam, at other times Stiff Little Fingers but all bound up in a faster, more aggressive, modern sound with a bright, vibrant production that accentuates the drums and bass, and gives them a propulsive edge that drives these song home like a bore hole into your eardrums.
So, if you old school Consumed fans were in any way worried that the 15 year break may have tamed the beast, fear not. This is every bit as vital as their original heyday; I suspect a new heyday is imminent. If you’re new to the band and love killer, vicious punk rock then this is absolutely for you: older guys showing exactly how it should be done. Let’s hope it doesn’t take 15 years to make the next record.
While you’re here, why not check out Sarah’s recent interview with Consumed?
Decade of No is due for release on CD and vinyl Umlaut Records and SBAM Records on July 13th. All Umlaut vinyl purchases come with a 3 track b-sides EP from the Pistols At Dawn sessions – these tracks have never been released before. You can following Consumed on Facebook for all the latest updates.
Article by Ollie Stygall.