The Riot Before Fists Buried In Pockets

The Riot Before Fists Buried In Pockets
The Riot Before are one of those rare beasts: their music is at times both intimate and inclusive. The opening title track and "Threat Level Midnight” are the perfect soundtracks for a lone walk in the rain, but it’s just as easy to imagine singing along to vocalist/guitarist Brett Adams’ words with a bunch of sweaty strangers in a basement somewhere. Lyrically, the songs walk the line between the personal and the political, while the music tends towards peaks and valleys. Tracks like "Can’t Sexy Dance to Punk Rock” are fast, blaring, straight-up punk rock at one moment before breaking down to a simple palm muted guitar then finally building to an explosive release, skilfully managing tension to create a sense of catharsis in each song. While words like "personal” and "catharsis” may bring to mind the much-maligned emo tag, that would be an unfair assumption. There’s no whining or tears spilled, only an impassioned performance from a band that deserve all the attention they can get.

On your blog you talk a lot about being on the road. What keeps drawing you back to that?
Singer/guitarist Brett Adams: I think there are a lot of different reasons, but I think all four of us know it’s exactly what we should be doing. There’s something really essential to it that we all really enjoy. I love travelling and going different places but at the end of the day, just playing songs every day to any sort of audience is exactly what we want to be doing and we’re working to make that audience bigger. It’s a weird thing that I don’t think a lot of people would be good at and I feel really lucky that we’re all adept at it.

Your lyrics tend to switch between the personal and the political. Do you feel you lean more to one or the other?
I definitely lean more to the personal. I almost don’t feel a lot of these songs are political, but more just my personal involvement in the world, if that makes sense. So I feel like I’m just trying to figure out where I fit in with everything and where I should fit in with everything. The songs are kind of a reflection of the best and the worst of me, and trying to figure out where I belong in all those things. I’m not a politician, so I can’t really [explain] the actual politics of things, and so when I do talk about politics I try and keep it vague and more towards things I can be sure of and not one of those bands talking about tax reform or something. (Say-10)