Straight outta Pittsburgh, The Berlin Project started off as a Christian Rock band and is now up to nine members, including a five person horn section. Culture Clash is the second release by these boys, a follow up to their 1998’s Running for the Border. They offer up 14 tracks, including one instrumental number. There is some seriously honey horn work throughout the CD, which is a pretty solid ska production with a bit of a bratty punk edge.
The songs are mostly upbeat and energetic. “Individuality” and “Boil” and “Rock Town” and “The Fight Song” feature various takes on standing up for individuality and moving against conformity. “Faded Memories” and “Those Days” are filled with recollections of youthful days. “Carry Me Away” and “Runaway” speak to confusion and the low self-image of an outsider. “Driving School Dropout” is humorous but gory. “Taco Bell World” and “Vagrant” and “Mall Cop” are juvenile in a sappy, “its my ball” sort of way.
Except for a few swear words, this CD is squeaky clean. If you are middle class or above, think that whiteness is invisible, preferably a straight boy, in high school or the first two years of college, then Culture Clash is for you.
// Notes from the Road
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