River City Rebels – No Good, No Time, No Pride

Without missing a beat, River City Rebels released their third album in 2002, again via Victory Records. Entitled No Good, No Time, No Pride, this would be their third album in three years. A few adjustments in their lineup manages to shift their sound again, this time becoming louder and more riotous than ever. Comparisons to The Clash, Sex Pistols and Rancid rise to the surface as Dan O’Day’s brit-inspired vocals snap with harsh vitriol, and fuzz-laden guitars with ska embellishments grind out their sound with even bolder and wider enthusiasm.

Indeed, while 2001’s Playing to Live, Living to Play feels more grounded and personal, this album is edgier, raspier and filled with teenage angst. The grit displayed by the guitars and vocals only makes the bright horn section stand out even stronger. In terms of its subject matter, it blends a bit of both the political and personal matters seamlessly into one. The whole punk philosophy contained into chunks of sub-3 minute songs. 

Openers “Such a Bore” and “Aborted” condenses these ideas and in turn makes them the standout tracks of this album. Both songs carrying a hardcore attitude that can make you sing and dance while the world is falling apart around you. The production is top notch as always, but there’s something about this record that makes it feel closer to a live setting than anything the band has put out so far. 

“Life’s a Drag” carries out the same energy of the beginning tracks with a stronger fanfare-like section from the horns. The type of anthemic catchy-ness that can wake you out of the boredom that the song feverishly sings about. “Pass the Basket” by far is the song with the most ska elements embedded in it. It’s groovy instead of the regular rollicking romp – a style that the band executes well but uses sparingly. “Us Crush” is both a protest song and a critique of American society with a compelling call to action.

As expected from River City Rebels, No Good, No Time, No Pride delivers a melodic collection of angry and defiant street punk. This takes the cake as their most raw sounding so far in terms of the guitars and drums. It’s hardly anything that varies from the conventions of its genre staples, but it’s a fun-filled experience all throughout.

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