Ellen Degenerate play punk rock. There is little that distinguishes them from the rest of the quicker, Los Angeles-punk acts of the late nineties when they play their â€œWho Made Rock & Roll Just For Girlsâ€. Of course, the vocals are catchy and seem to press a little bit on the style of the Dropkick Murphys, but the guitar/drum/bass dynamic is straight-forward and provides little out of the ordinary. The track works well on itsâ€™ own but there is little that the band provides that is â€œnewâ€. The slower sound of â€œModern Girlâ€, coupled with a slightly-shifted sound to the vocals, brings Ellen Degenerate to more of a Fifteen or Operation Cliff Clavin type of sound.
The band speeds up, making another track that individuals can sing along with. The good thing about â€œModern Loveâ€ is that it does not sound as if Ellen Degenerate is following the punk piper as directly as they did before. â€œModern Loveâ€ is their own track, and I would be proud to sing along with it. â€œEllenâ€ is the third track on this disc, and it shows Ellen Degenerate as bouncing between The Dickies and a more hasher, stoner type of rock guitar. The track feels a little bit syncopated, as it is snuffed out before the band can get to the minute mark. Luckily, the strong vocals during the track are punchy and end the track authoritatively enough to make the song fit half-way decently. This earlier style continues â€œWhat Once Wasâ€, and while it feels as if the members of the band are a little off with each other when it comes to timing, The use of the double-bass (like) sound may work well in the context of the song (as it precedes the Matt Freeman-like bass that is present), but it does not fit in well with what is happening at that specific moment of the track.
The track has a lot of potential, but it feels a little too patched together, as if the band had a number of tracks that they were trying to do and could not decide where to ultimately go. Ellen Degenerate can play punk rock, that is no problem at all for them. However, what does provide them with problems is trying to create a unique sound that draws on influences but does not just rehash where other bands have been. I have no doubt in time that they will be able to do that, but this album does not show that. Keep listening to the band and they will most likely surprise you.
Top Tracks: Iâ€™m Political, Savage Nation