Lace up your combat boots and get ready to draw some blood… Punk is back..
Reno Divorce comes to Strikers bar in Superior this Saturday (June 11th) to unleash some reckless abandon on the timorous hearts and minds. They are a modern punk band with hints of heavy metal and southern rock dancing in the rear. Their music makes you wanna mosh into people and take out some anger, yet at the same time it has you reaching for your PS2.
The album, You’re Only Making It Worse, had a definite punk rock sound. It opened with “Hard Luck Story” and was very reminiscent of the songs on my Madden 2003 game for the PS2. This is partly due to the emergence of video games becoming a popular avenue for hard rock bands reaching a large target audience. “Hard” had that young MTV sound with staccato guitar racing the drums. Occasionally it heaved quietly, only to be replenished by forceful lyrics. “Bitch, I Hope You’re Happy” had a surprisingly angry tone. It’s heavy metal pauses kept in synch with continuous drumming. At the changes there was a southern touch to the licks, hidden behind a large dose of speed. These sounds led the band to some heavy praise over the past few years, especially in Europe.
Reno Divorce is Brent Loveday on vocals and lead guitar, Andrew Erich on drums, and Tim Jadowski on bass and background vocals. It all began in Florida in 1996 as Brent Loveday’s band before he moved to Denver, CO in 2000 and met Andrew Erich. In 2002 they recorded their first album, Naysayers And Yesmen on the small United Kingdom label Boss Tunage Records. With great reviews across Europe they recorded the disk I reviewed, You’re Only Making It Worse. Currently they are celebrating two new releases on Street Anthem Records including a re-release of Naysayers And Yesmen/Laugh Now Cry Later on one CD and the Reno Divorce Vs. Sweet Poison on a split CD.
One heavily praised song on Making It Worse was, “A .45 Will Pay The Rent.” It had almost a punk ballad feel with fuzz-toned storytelling. The lyrics barked, “He admits he likes the thrill.. Some get their stronger shot of love, smoke, booze, or pills.” The song highlights the southern heavy metal punk that permeates the entire CD and band. Other notable numbers are “The Other Girl” which makes you wanna yell out, “Yee Haw” while punching the guy next to you in the mosh-pit. “Always Be Your Slave” was fast and almost Ramonish in topic, talking about high school memories and touching in the hall. The album ends with talk of love in a trailerpark and the lyrics, “You’re only as tough as the last guy you fought.”
The new stuff from Reno Divorce is much improved, and the new recordings have a more refined tone to them. They cover Johnny Cash’s “Guess Things Happen That Way” and give a modern punk growl to twanging country. “Rock Under The Hill” is faster than the older tunes, with a fuller sound. It’s heavy and metal with some nice slides into the solos. “M.O.” is a great new song where Reno Divorce finally hit pay dirt. It’s harder, and still retains the band’s southern roots. The improved bass sound for the new stuff stands up and slaps you in a slow melodious way. One would assume that punk music and heavy metal would not go well today with young people. However, this past week, System Of A Down had their second album debut #1 to twice the album sales than their last from 2001. It’s a new era in hard rock. Either get on the bandwagon, or look out, cuz that bandwagon is gonna unload and kick the living spit out of you. You can buy any of Reno Divorce’s CDs or have a listen at www.renodivorceonline.com.