Ah, the comeback record. It’s never an easy thing to do. On the one hand, you a have a legion of fans who have spent years begging for new stuff, then on the other there is a huge risk you can come back and release something that just doesn’t stand up to your back catalogue and simply taints your legacy. Many have tried, many have failed.
Here we have a comeback 12 years in the making from Canadian skate punk royalty Belvedere. Back on UK label Lockjaw Records with latest Revenge Of the Fifth and guess what Belvedere fans, you’re in for a treat, this in no way taints their history, in fact this could be one of their strongest releases ever.
The album sprints out of the gate with opener ‘Shipwreck’, guitars drive and the drums gallop at a breakneck pace. This is skate punk and you know what to expect and thankfully it delivers. There is a youthful energy on show throughout which defies the fact that this band have been around more than twenty years. bands like this first came to prominence in the good ol’ late 90’s and we are transported right back to that golden era.
‘Transmissions’ is fast, urgent and shout along but with a good sense of melody that makes this genre so appealing to the listener. It also shows that you don’t have to write 8-minute tunes when you can say everything you need to in less than two minutes.
Nobody is reinventing the wheel here but why would you need to. The wheel has been the same for thousands of years with no complaints and although skate punk hasn’t been around as long the same thing applies here. It resonates with the same appeal as bands such as Pennywise and Satanic Surfers. It is a timeless sound that actually sounds fresh in 2016 compared to all the cookie cutter bullshit of the same old whining melody and breakdowns that fill the pages of Kerrang magazine. This is what you really want from punk rock. Substance over style!
This is big on melody, big on driving riffs and big one good ol’ punk rock. It makes us hopeful that this will once again open the floodgates of the genre. Remember those times when you would go down to your local record shop and get a Fat Wreck or Epitaph compilation for less than a fiver? Remember when those songs would soundtrack your summers? That is the feeling you get here with Belvedere. Is it simply nostalgia? It possibly could be but there is no denying that this is a bad ass record that deserves many a listen. Welcome back Belvedere, on behalf of punk rock fans everywhere, we have missed you.