“Anthem For A New Tomorrow” mixes the pop-punk of the Ramones with the wall of sound present with The Replacements and the earliest albums of Husker Du. While the band had already moved beyond the short and breakneck-paced tracks of “Boogadaboogadaboogada”, Screeching Weasel had came up with tracks on this album (such as “Rubber Room”) that replicate the speed of the earliest tracks with the catchiness present on albums like ”Wiggle”. The fact that Screeching Weasel could actually put on this album an instrumental (“Talk To Me Summer”) shows a band that has some musical integrity behind it, instead of being another band to only follow the three-chord lead of the Ramones.
This is not to say that “Anthem For A New Tomorrow” is only an album for snooty, technical music lovers – tracks like “Peter Brady” predates the fun-rock of Atom and His Package by a few years. “I, Robot” is pure Screeching Weasel, even if there is some intentional distortion of Ben Weasel’s vocals to add to the effect. The infusion of synthesizers so heavily to this disc really shows a maturation of Screeching Weasel’s sound, as well as a completeness that the brashness of tracks like “Dingbat” never had. The disc ahs a little learning curve to it, but by the middle part of the disc, each track that follows is a true Screeching Weasel hit, whether it be through the perfection of the pop-punk sound, the shredding-up done by the guitars, or even the present bass lines (especially during tracks like “I Don’t Wanna Be Friends”). With 18 cuts weighing in at a fraction above thirty-three minutes, the band really shows their ability by providing fodder that will infuse itself into a listener’s head even with tremendously short tracks (the twelve second runtime of “Panic” is a perfect example of this phenomenon.)
Screeching Weasel can even intentionally fall into a repetitious rut (the aptly named “Trance”), much like their predecessors The Replacements did during “Bastards of Young”, and have this sound much more like a work of art than a band that has no clue where to go with their music. Screeching Weasel is a band that can continually modify their sound from album to album, and always do something better than it was done in the past. “Anthem For A New Tomorrow” is precisely that; the future incorporation of emotional lyrics and intense instrumentation was a blueprint for all the music that was to follow.
Top Tracks: Peter Brady, Trance
Screeching Weasel – Anthem For A New Tomorrow / 2005 Asian Man / 18 Tracks / http://www.screechingweasel.com / http://www.asianmanrecords.com / Reviewed 09 June 2005