Pour Habit - Got Your Back
Record Label: Fat Wreck
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Right now thereís a party going on inside my stereo. Punk is the host, and close friend Metal is there as well. Pop-Punk is currently throwing some crazy shapes on the dance floor with Skate-Punk. And Reggae is the friend of a friend whoíll arrive late, but when he/she arrives, youíll know about it. And you better believe that Generic-Pop-Rubbish wasnít invited.
Basically what Iím trying to say is that Got Your Back by Pour Habit is a fast hard-hitting record with a foundation of punk and metal riffs mixed with pop-punk and skate-punk tendencies, plus some reggae for good measure. And it rocks.
I donít know about you, but I enjoy a good old-fashioned scathing socio-political commentary melodically delivered over a technical punk background. So I enjoy "Heads of State", with its assertions of "A nation run by heads of state/Who donít eat off the same plate". And I enjoy "Matter of Opinion", with lyrics such as "Weíve got to stop this genocidal plague/But weíre all caught in the matter of opinion" spat out by Chuck Green. Iíve seen many a comparison of Greenís voice to Dexter Hollandís voice since Pour Habit released their previous full-length Suiticide, and thereís a reason for that: Chuck Green sounds a lot like Dexter Holland at times. But thatís no bad thing, because that means Green is an accomplished vocalist, and he harmonises effectively with the well-used backing vocals.
Obviously it helps the vocalist to be combined with people who know how to play their instruments. Colin Walsh on the drums bashes the hell out of those skins, the guitarists Matt Hawks and Eric Walsh strum the hell out of those strings, and Steve Williams ties it all together with bass lines that are the bedrock of the Pour Habit sound. "Heads of State" is probably the song that exemplifies that sound. Opening with a punishing guitar riff, it leads into what is probably Greenís strongest vocal performance. The chorus is pure catchy skate-punk, and the guitar solo is pure quality shredding. The solos are consistent in quantity and quality throughout Got Your Back; see "Greenery", "Tomahawk" and "Dead Soldierís Bay".
After 6 tracks of high-octane punk/metal, track 7 is, er, quite different. "Party" has a very laid-back reggae feel, and is a welcome contrast. The lyrics are about partying, somewhat surprisingly, and show the diversity that Pour Habit can achieve. Closing track "Conscience Mind of Revelation" traverses a similar musical path, but falls quite flat. Contributing to this flatness is the fact that it follows "The Expert", a powerful and infectious number that has album closer written all over it.
So do Pour Habit have any poor habits? Well, there are some weaker cuts such as "Gutterblock Boy" and "Head in the Clouds" that pass by relatively unremarkably. Also, the vocals could do with being a bit more prominent in the production; the raging guitars almost drown them out at times. The band are at their best when they move away from typical metal characteristics and lean more towards a skate-punk feel that produces the strongest songs on the album, including "The Expert" and "Teens Turned to Fiends". The latter is particularly impressive.
To summarise then; this album is one hell of a party. So buy the record or go and see them live, and join the party.