ADOLESCENTS: MANIFEST DENSITY (2016)
1) Escape From Planet Fuck; 2) Hey Captain Midnight; 3) Unhappy Hour; 4) Silver And Black; 5) Nightcrawler; 6) Jacob's Ladder; 7) American Dogs In Europe; 8) Spring Break At Scar Beach; 9) Catfish; 10) Lost On Hwy 39; 11) Bubblegum Manifesto; 12) Rat Catcher; 13) Vs.
Two things: (1) no, that is not a typo in the album title, it's a brave, unrewarded swipe-in-the-dark at cleverness; (2) ʽEscape From Planet Fuckʼ is a noble and understandable wish, but a fairly crude song title that would have been more appropriate in 1980 than it is in 2016. Then again, it is perfectly appropriate for a band that called itself The Adolescents in 1980 and made it a major ideological point not to change that name in 2016.
Other than that, I have to say that I find this record even less deserving of a discussion than La Vendetta. More than ever now, it looks like Tony Reflex and his friends have invented themselves a long-term ice bucket challenge — how long will they be able to go on making hardcore records like this before they run out of extra dole money? And the fact that the playing is as muscular, the screaming as furious, and the lyrics as anti-establishment-vicious as ever, no longer plays to their advantage, because every song sounds like it wants to change the whole world, yet there is probably only a tiny smudgeon of people who even know of its existence in the first place. And this time, there's not even a single attempt at doing something out of the ordinary — song after song after song, it is the same fast tempo, the same fuck-the-system scream, the same anthemic refrain, the same generic melodic lead guitar, and the same 100% lack of that hardcore magic that, thirty-six years ago, set them apart from the pack.
Really, it's so humiliating, they even have their Manifest Density page on Wikipedia marked for potential deletion because of «lack of notability» — what a frickin' shame for a band writing songs like ʽAmerican Dogs In Europeʼ. But honestly, enough with these ever-deteriorating clones of The Fastest Kid Alive already! And see, this is why, when all other parameters are levelled out, good old hard rock like AC/DC wins over punk rock — at least the Young brothers, even in their least inspired days, still tried to come up with a slightly different riff for every song; on this record, I struggle to find even one half-decent guitar melody. Thumbs down.