Voice Of Addiction and ‘The Lost Art Of Empathy’.
The latest album from Chicago political Punks Voice Of Addiction is a frustrated album by a band that have been in the Punk game for quite some time. The Lost Art Of Empathy is the band’s second full-length and if fast, abrasive yet melodic Punk that is as punchy lyrically as it is through its composition excites you or bands such as Hot Water Music, Anti-Flag or Ignite also do it for you, you should pay attention.
The record begins with Chicago brand old-school Hardcore edging ever-so close to a more melodic Skate Punk sound overall. ‘Rustbelt’ attacks the monotonous routine of working for the sake of food on your table and simply to survive rather than live, while the anthemic Leatherface-esque ‘Dead By Dawn’ carries an important message more should heed. – ‘Without each other we’ve lost they’ve won’.
The band’s sound balances the big chorus’ and the melodies needed to support the emotive and politicised lyrics without losing the grit they also harness. Vocally speaking this, again using Leatherface as a likeness, is paramount in maintaining this balance and their punchy Punk-Rock sound.
‘Unity’ is cliche and stereotypical but in the best way possible and an album highlight. Voice Of Addiction write short, fast and loud songs with limited lyrical content that carry just as much weight in their conviction and message.
‘Petty Schemes’ is an obvious jibe at the order of things in the band’s country of origin as it anthemically drives along in some sort of Anti-Flag/Hot Water Music cross before the intro of ‘Corporate Pariah’ teases you with impressive melodic vocals and hints of a Punk-ballad before fluttering Ska-Punk notes quickly rise then transition in and out of fast 90’s Punk.
Musically speaking, this album isn’t the most relentless and for Punk is relatively easy listening but it is in its lyrical weight that it is relentless in that it is quite simply disaffection, frustration and critique to paper and onward to speaker.
‘Lockwood’ contrasts itself between a sharp Rock n’ Roll twang to further Ska flirtations in a track that is in both celebration and lament to fallen heroes. This is one for those the Punk scene has lost and not only garners praise for that but also in its clever stylistic change in the flow of the record. The Post-Hardcore rumble of Hot Water Music and Leatherface come to mind again.
‘I Can’t Breathe’ is intelligent and haunting in its delivery and depiction of entitlement and privilege. ‘Everything Must Go’ is another heartfelt blatant attack on the order of things alongside a finally unleashed guitarist who plays you out his way. ‘I Can’t Breathe’ is also notable in that the whole punchy-politcal stance of the band hasn’t fallen into tedium yet. It is so easy on Punk albums that the conviction no matter how genuine can fall into repetition or banality after a near albums worth. This is not the case with this band.
By the time of ‘Alcorn Queen’ the band’s mild Hardcore and Post-Hardcore tendencies are nearer the forefront, teasingly old-school and maybe telling of latter material down the line.
The Lost Art Of Empathy waits until its final and acoustic track to tie it all in. To tie in itself and your opinion. This is a very well written album, it’s also very bleak and quite sad at times but its determination, its rational belief and thought process are its main selling point so to speak, with its musical prowess a solid bonus. Do you self a favour, buy this album and make sure you are sat comfortably for the closing ‘Are We Even Human Anymore?’.
Find the band below:
- Social Media/Updates: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Official Website.
- Music: bandcamp, iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify.