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Pour Habit

Got Your Back

(Fat Wreck Chords; US: 12 Apr 2011; UK: Import)

Pour Habit is one of a handful of bands that represent the new guard over at Fat Wreck Chords. Along with Banner Pilot, they represent the best young bands Fat Mike and company have to offer. Got Your Back, the band’s second record, is speedy, metal-touched punk with heavy riffs and a pummeling double-bass drum. In general there’s a heft to their sound that makes them loom large over many of their pop-punk brethren. Even “Heads of State”, which shifts away from their speed-metal leanings, charges with ferocity without losing the thread of more angular songs like “Greenery” or “Tomahawk”. The band is also capable of surprising shifts to ska and reggae that—since they’re often built on noodling acoustics—feel oddly fresh. Of course, that variety is sometimes wasted, as with “East 69th” and “Conscious Mind of Revolution”, which founder on mindless partying lyrics and ham-handed politics respectively. Still, Got Your Back is a muscled, energetic record from start to finish. It feels a bit too polished next to their self-recorded debut, Suiticide, and the production sands down their fangs a bit in places. That they are still fiery throughout the album shows just how much promise they have, however, and makes Got Your Back rise above the rest of the monochromatic pop-punk field.


Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.

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