Choke [foreword]

After the release of their groundbreaking third album, 1997’s Needless to Say, it would have taken a miracle for Edmonton's Choke to outdo themselves. And with their latest record, the appropriately titled [foreword], they come about as close as they possibly could. [foreword] continues the band's blinded drive into the musical abyss where nothing is as it sounds. The record's ten tracks are a genre-busting combination of searing punk energy, complicated jazz signatures with very few grooves and mature, insightful lyrics. Take the mathematical timings of Candiria and Naked City played at Dead Kennedys speed and you'll kind of get the picture. They are part of a Western Canadian punk elite that includes Propagandhi, Painted Thin and I Spy. As innovative as [foreword] is, it's not much of a progression from the material on Needless to Say. Even without the freshness of that record, though, it is still a tremendous accomplishment by punk standards. (Smallman)