Street punk shows it has a nicer side thanks to Left Alone, a Wilmington, CA foursome act on their latest self-titled release Left Alone on Hellcat Records. On the band’s third release they continue to play street punk material but incorporate elements of pop punk, reggae, and ska making for a real fun listen.
Opening track “Spiked With Pain” was a full punk rock track with sing along abilities and guitar and bass riffs suggestive of Rancid. There is a reason why this band was signed to Hellcat and perhaps Tim Armstrong enjoyed the similarities of Left Alone and the band he fronts.
“Branded” follows with the same energy as the first track with front man Elvis Cortez’s raspy voice just appealing to my ears. As if that was not good enough, the bass lines were sick throughout and overall the song is just screaming to be released as a single.
Almost sounding like the Madness meets Operation Ivy was the brisk “Sad Story” with a more ska approach that is easily likable and surly makes you want to skank away. The song was easily one of my favorites on the entire CD.
The catchy “3 Bottles Of Wine” and “Porcelain” both seem more pop punk tracks. They seem to escape the street punk image held by the band but still are enjoyable for what they are worth.
“Bombs Away” sounding a lot like the Clash’s “Police And Thieves” carries on just fine as the song is not a direct rip off but more so a compliment to the UK grandfathers of punk. “Brindle” starts off with a strong bass line that strays right into a fast paced track sure to be a hit at one of their live shows as it makes you want to swing your arms and dance around carelessly.
I loved “Self Made” with the more so 90s punk feel and an organ playing in the background. “Wishing Well” continued that feeling with a simple yet catchy punk track with some group vocals. These are the kinds of songs that turned me into a punk rock fan in the first place.
It’s nice to see a band like Left Alone not label themselves as one specific genre of music and experiment with their talent. This album is full of tracks with sing along qualities that span back to their previous releases but add a more fine tuned effort making for a good listen if you find yourself a fan of punk rock.
Left Alone is far from a commercial pop punk act and thanks to their recent release they should be grabbing some attention. Perhaps it is a good thing they stay away from the mainstream though as they have too much talent to be considered just another pop-punk act out there. Having already been fans of their previous releases Lonely Starts and Broken Hearts and Dead American Radio I can honestly say this CD is just as good of a listen if not better.
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