“Rock n’ Roll Victim” is a furious blitzkrieg of chugging guitar carried on by hi-hat-heavy drumming before squeezing into a screeching chorus that kicks the whole apparatus into seventh gear. A short-lived chorus, chock-filled with reverberating hand claps, finally drives the song to implode, giving space for the come-down track, “Let the World Turn,” a ditty that begins as a shimmering arpeggio with tender yet slightly haunting vocals. The band then picks it up and locks into a Funkadelic groove that breaks down into a frantic romp, featuring a prog interlude and a revving drum solo that cascade back into the smooth dealings of the beginning before once again returning to their rampage.
In the album’s most devastating cut, “You’re a Prisoner,” the Hackneys pull out all the stops with an ultra-tight backbeat, a boisterous bass line and some crushing mondo-distortion that punctuates your soft-addled grey matter and obliterates the sound waves with it’s angsty chorus. If that weren’t enough, the band shifts the whole structure, suddenly, into mathematical riffing for a moment, throwing your balance out the window and quickly reinstating aural annihilation.
Do not be confused: Though the boys have the punk pat down to a T, they also make room for the catchy. In their proto-Ramones track, “Freakin Out,” which is ultimately offset by pulsating screams — “or am I freakin' out?” — opens with a pastiche of cacophonous ruckus before whipping out a gattling, gun-power-chord downstroke. The follow-up, pounding cut, “Where Do We Go From Here,” materializes with a dueling bass lick and soul-singing before it starts galloping with madman drumming into an epic-inspired chorus that breaks down into catchy yet surreal and playful guitar phrases.
The album’s closer is the band's first single, “Politician's In My Eyes,” a bass-thumping, muted scream against the bloodthirsty mitigators of dirty power relations that predates the punk drumming of '80’s. All of this slips the mind, though, once its overtly dramatic chorus breaks into Thin Lizzy territory when Bobby’s howling croon fades into echoing psychedelia before getting lost in the mix of an all-out-riffing finale and feedbacking into oblivion.
Lyrics are frustrated and maniacal, from the hate-fest of the closing track — “They could care less about you/ They could care less about me…Sending young men to die” — to rather agnostic utterances in “You’re A Prisoner." Every structure is torn down, first by pulling the tenets of rock 'n’ roll to its most brutal extreme and then questioning its history and symbolism, yelling out to listeners, “Are these feelings really real?” Not only challenging structures with violence but their audience as well — imploring listeners to “freak out” — these refuseniks don’t take it easy at all.