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FBS

Fight Before Surrender

Wounded/Hairball 8

Hard hitting, metal-based punk rock; this time hailing from the dirty streets of Springfield, OH. The music and lyrics are well scrubbed, clean punk for those who like their anarchy well organized. If the words seem a bit tidy, you need only turn to the back page of the album's CD booklet to find the reason why, "Thank you... Jesus Christ for salvation and strength." Another Christian punk band, what is the world coming to?

You all know my stance on that genre contradiction, but FBS don't shove their beliefs down the listeners throats. If it weren't for the thank you note, I would have never known these guys (and gal) were affiliating themselves with any particular religion. As I said, the lyrics are cleaner than you would otherwise expect, but the edge is still sharp and the music is right on par with their acknowleged influences (GBH, Motorhead, The Exploited).

Opening song "You Can't Hide" hooks you immediately, from the beginning bass notes to the speed racer drumming and hardcore harmonies. "Last Man Standing" is a great life-on-the-road song, and "Guilty as Charged" is just perfect. It's this trio of songs that nail this album home.

Closing out the album is a 5-minute acoustic folk song, "Hope For the Rejected," that really comes out of left field and doesn't quite fit with the mood previously created. Against Me can get away with it, but something just feels too soft about FBS going from full-on hardcore to country porch music so drastically. This song will either be your favorite on this album, or the one that you leave off of your playlist.

Hairball 8: www.hairball8.com