New Bruises play a very confident brand of punk rock in the vein of old Offspring and Against Me! . The disc really gets started with “Bigger Isn’t Always Better. Yes, Texas this Means You”, but does not quit with the subsequent tracks on the disc. The arrangements on “Transmit! Transmit!” are not necessarily at the cutting edge of music, but in treading well-traveled roads the band connects well with other listeners while innovating the style in bold new ways. The tracks on “Transmit! Transmit!” always have a proper kick to them, and the songs burn out well before the band runs out of steam.
”Homo-Erectus-Americanus” changes the style of New Bruises slightly to reflect a mishmash of influences that include Anti-Flag, Strike Anywhere and Rise Against; the success that the band has on the first half of the CD does not decrease with the addition of different styles during the track. New Bruises are the perfect example of a band that has come out of nowhere with an album that has hit after hit, all in order. The band does not employ the guitar and drum dynamic that is enjoyed by a number of punk acts, but adds a bass to the mix during strategic times (The Hero, The Thief, and The Liability of Getting Caught). This is punk music for 2006, where all the styles that have preceded New Bruises are culminated and weighted until a balanced attack is essentially the only way that the band can proceed. Each of the songs would do fine in a soundtrack for a Tony Hawk game or on the punk station on Sirius.
The arrangements are not the brain-dead Ramones style that has been emulated during the last quarter-century but (especially during tracks like “Sleeping With the Ants, Again”) rather something that takes into consideration modifications to the time signatures that are the major artifact from the previous era. The band does not sputter to a halt with the last few tracks on “Transmit! Transmit!” either; “City Hearts and Trailer Parks” uses a multiple set of vocals to push the point home in much the same way as “American Hearts”-era Piebald. New Bruises better have a long existence before they end the book on their careers. This solid bit of punk rock is something that has not been heard in a long time, and to revisit that style and come up with some new interpretation makes someone all the more hopeful that punk will shine in the new millennium.
Top Tracks: Homo-Erectus-Americanus, The Hero, The Thief, and The Liability of Getting Caught
New Bruises – Transmit! Transmit! / 2005 Kiss of Death / 12 Tracks / http://www.newbruises.com / http://www.myspace.com/kissofdeathrecords / Reviewed 29 March 2006