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Scatterbox

This youthful, post-hardcore outfit from ultra-conservative Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, screams out for '80s punk recognition. Listening to this album, one might ask: What year is it, again?

Sudden Movements shows the band moving from a scorching batch of songs dealing with the usual post-adolescent frustration of authority and oppression--and the evolving fears of transforming from devil-may-care teenagers--toward becoming responsible young adults in today's unstable environment of war, terrorism and political discontent.

Beyond the elementary protests and rhetoric, Sudden Movements is a more melodic than threatening statement of rebelliousness, dripping with brutal double-tracked guitar licks, shouted vocals and deafening drumming. Spearheaded by the brusque, weathered throat-shredding of front man Tom White, Scatterbox are equally adept at kicking out juvenile skateboard anthems ("Concrete Waves") or grown-up rallying cries of injustice ("High Expectations": "I can't live life with such high expectations / I'm gonna let you down with these high expectations") without the trappings of forgotten hard-core knuckleheads before.

In other words, Scatterbox don't worship at the altar of an over-hyped, rather meaningless anarchy symbol. Additionally, guitarist Chris Copulos avoids rudimentary thrash chords in favor of crisp, six-string machine gun fire that blatantly pays homage to the Sex Pistols (check out opening salvo "Atlas" with its conspicuous "No Future" riffing), Gorilla Biscuits and Murphy's Law, while the powder keg drum bursts from Scott Rozell evoke the atomic firepower of skate-core hooligans like JFA and Fang.

More by Ron Bally

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