The First Rule / Welcome To Sucksville

The First Rule

Welcome To Sucksville

The First Rule’s “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” Was definitely one of the highlights of 2017 for me. Wound tighter than a Swiss watch, this punk outfit crammed nineteen tunes onto that disc, impressing me with punk songs that stuck in my cranium like pop songs. Adding to their first-rate writing skills is the fact that they’re a local band, which really put me in their corner.

The band has upped their game since then, as the production, playing and songwriting are notably tighter and more distilled here. Guitarist Chelsey Corrin left the band last year, but still contributed to a lot of these tracks. Singer Nicholas O’Malley is present and in fine voice, though, sneering his way through the opening one-two punch of “War Machine” and “Little Miss Narcissist.”

“Better Things” starts out as an acoustic declaration before vaulting into a grinder for the fed-up among us. This one really gets to the point in a hurry, which is what these guys (and girl) are good at. My fave of the set, however, is the hyper-yet-sentimental “I Knew You When,” an ode to the old friends who we looked out for in the old days, who have finally seen fit to get themselves together. A top-shelf effort.

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