Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music


September 2, 2003

Euphobia, along with having a great name, has a style that would at first glance be classified as pop punk, but it’s so much deeper than that. There’s method to all madness, and this pop punk is definitely madness. But madness is a good thing, right?

A statement that must be said: They love their intros. Every instrument either gets its own or is involved in one. They even have an intro to the CD; a random, hilarious discussion about a CD Cover. There are plenty of them scattered throughout this massive 18-song-long ordeal. To alleviate the monotony that usually comes with long albums, they keep their songs short and show us a range of punk styles. There’s that overused dark style, which they do expertly, even if only for 55 seconds on “White Flags Up”. There’s lightning punk, which shows them spitting out lyrics as fast as possible, which is quite nice, because I haven’t heard too many bands try it. To correspond with speed, there’s also midtempo rockers. They don’t really excel here, as their vocals fall off track, but with all the other styles to see, it can be passed over easily. They even have an acoustic song thrown in for variation. Finally, they have a great amount of pop punkers. They do well in these, because they have either one or two singers singing at all times. Both are talented, all excelling at different parts of their art. The melodies between these two are one of the best things about this CD. Their guitars are hooky, like all punk bands. The middle of this CD is the best musically, as the beginning is the same old stuff as everyone else has and the end feels a bit long. The bassist shines throughout, creating intricate, moving lines that catch your attention instantly. He renews more than one song from the depths of the SOS (same old stuff). A showcase of their talent is most definitely “Around” and the most inventive riff appears on “Song One”. “Song One” is actually not song one…but twelve. It’s an instance of their good humor, which is shown throughout, and especially on the nutty acoustic ballad “My Dad”.

This is punk the way it should be. Low-fi, joyous, and completely carefree. There are 18 songs of pure playing because they want to. There is no hidden agenda. There are no ambitions of becoming rock and roll gods (ok, maybe a few). This is sheer, straight up, no holds barred music for the sake of making music. It’s only downfall lies in the fact that they gave us so much stuff to work with. Some of the songs could have been cut, and this would be a stronger disc as a whole. Still, it’s worth shouting about. 7.5 out of 10


Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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