While not having the grit of The Unseen, The New York Rel-X start off “Sold Out Of Love” with an intensity, both in the ropy bass lines of Adi and the vocals of Erika. Not to be left out of the mix, the guitar riffs of Jon really push the track to its inevitable conclusion. Continuing their assault with the interesting arrangements (almost staggered in their form) of “So Long”, The New York Rel-X are well on their way for creating a brand of punk rawk in the vein of The Gits, L7 and Bif Naked. While there are no tracks that will ensure their Clearchannel entry, each of the tracks are molded with a pop sensibility that mesh well with the virtuosic instrumentation and arrangements found on the disc. Each track spins through before someone can blink and this disc, even with its 11 cuts, ends much too quickly (only reaching 33 minutes). Infusing each track on “Sold Out Of Love” with the same intensity, regardless of whether the track begins or ends the disc is the best way to show that the band has their head on correctly.
“Sold Out Of Love” is a rare find in today’s punk scene – an album that is just as vibrant in its 2005 release as it would be in 1975, 1985 or 1995. The mastering of this disc is spot-on, allowing for a barely-noticable buzz to link together all the tracks on the disc, as well as creating a sort of haze that makes the disc feel as if its being pulled off of an LP. The incorporation of a dual set of vocals in a track like “It’s All Wasted” looks back to X, and the ever-prevalent guitar riffs are inspired by The Germs as much as they are by The Offspring.
With Tsunami Bomb, The Soviettes, and The N.Y. Rel-X all cutting albums in the last year, the prospect is there for a femme-punk revival that has not been seen in music since the glory days of The Slits, the X-Ray Spex and Siouxsie and the Banshees. What is even more impressive is that the scene is allowing them their own times after the sexism of tough-guy hardcore and pop-punk really poisoned the scene in the nineties. The N.Y. Rel-X are the future of punk rock, and paradoxically these future is tempered heavily by the genre’s illustrious past.
Top Tracks: No Way Out, It’s All Wasted
The New York Rel-X – Sold Out Of Love / 2005 TKO / 11 Tracks / http://www.nyrelx.com / http://www.tkorecords.com / Reviewed 12 March 2005