Left Alone – Dead American Radio (CD)

Left Alone plays a brand of ska-punk that even Tim would be proud of. On “Every Night”, one almost expects Tim’s vocals to come slurring out of the gate. However, hearing something completely different, a bit of punk mixed in with the grit of a Replacements or a Husker Du, makes Left Alone shine amongst all the punk acts of the last few years. This is a catchy track, but more in the “Diamonds and Guns” groove than the Casualties sound.

The production does not lack anything; the synths ride wide waves as the vocals are focused on one specific point. Individuals will be singing along to Left Alone soon after the disc spins to a close for the first time; there is little down that on stage, the vocals leaving the PA are matched with a crowd that is admirably loud. Even minor things that would slow down a track, such as the inclusion of a telephone call, are handled well by Left Alone; to borrow something from ICP, nothing can stop their shine. Even the fact that Left Alone is so influenced by acts like Rancid cannot drag this track down. So many bands are winding down their career by the time that Left Alone has reached their pinnacle. “Dead American Radio” is this pinnacle, and marks their tenth anniversary (at least) as a band. The most interesting thing about Left Alone is how much of an impact they have with “Dead American Radio”. I know that before hearing this album, I was not aware of the act.

Afterwards, “Dead American Radio” makes me want to search out all the rest of their albums and try to see how they have evolved over the last decade. There have been a number of acts on the “Give ‘Em The Boot” compilations and on the Hell-Cat roster that have not been quite up to the high quality that one expects from anything that Tim has to do with; Left Alone singlehandly makes up for all the other acts with “Dead American Radio”. “New York City” keeps the band in the reggae/ska/punk style but also ties their fortunes to acts like the L.E.S. Stitches. One can only be reminded of songs like “New York City’s Dead” when they hear “New York City”; Left Alone with this track can hit on the past as well as present of punk rock and more.

Top Tracks: Every Night, New York City

Rating: 6.8/10

Left Alone – Dead American Radio / 2006 Hellcat / 16 Tracks / http://www.leftalone.net / http://www.hell-cat.com / Reviewed 25 July 2006

[JMcQ]

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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