TSOL

Reviews

Ghost Train / Never Go Home 7″

Oof, let’s get this over with. I’m not here to declare that bands shouldn’t be allowed to continue releasing music nearly 40 years after inception, and I’m aware that many loyal fans (presumably over the age of 50) are allowed to remain loyal no matter what. Alas, as a rabid fan of everything T.S.O.L. through 1982 (even Beneath the Shadows), and even JOYKILLER (’90s Epitaph project featuring Jack and Ron), I’m unable to get on board with this 45. I admit I’m momentarily charmed by the vocal melodies on the choruses as they’re very signature Jack Grisham, but these songs remind me of the ones I’d skip on the JOYKILLER albums. The loose rock feel does nothing for me and the sleeve art does not befit TRUE SOUNDS OF LIBERTY. I can’t imagine most contemporary fans of punk music finding this the least bit relevant.

Beneath the Shadows LP

From their inception, TSOL’s finest efforts used both hardcore energy and a fiery dramatic tension to fuel their compositions. Sadly, there’s surprisingly little excitement or drama on their latest LP; instead, they’ve opted for a heavily atmospheric approach to hold together a set of weak post-punk songs. I will always admire TSOL’s contributions to the California punk scene, but I cannot recommend this record.

Weathered Statues EP

A huge disappointment. This is so lame it’s hard to believe TSOL put out one of the best punk EPs of 1981. “Man & Machine” is alright punk, “Statues” is embarrassingly wimpy and pretentious, and the others sound like substandard out-takes from the LP.