Closet Monster We Built This City

If playing in Avril Lavigne’s touring band gives you punk rock cred, then Closet Monster are Minor Threat. With six tracks of hyper-political punk rock, We Built This City is a punk rock manifesto of sorts, with lyrics such as "Our way / Our voice / Our message / Our vote / Taking back our public space and visual freedom,” and "We can’t even piss in the men’s room without being forced to stare at a fucking ad / Out of control.” Certainly, these are sentiments that ring true with the old school ideology of punk rock, before it became a fashion contest; yet it can be difficult to swallow these ideals from a band whose roster includes a former member of a band which, arguably, has helped contribute to the mainstream raping of what was once known as punk rock. While the band sings, screams, and yells with such conviction that it’s easy to get caught up in their apparent passion and devotion, the inherent irony of statements such as "Our only option is this filthy system called capitalism” have the ability to instantly remove the listener from the experience, instead setting in motion a whole new set of thoughts. Does the band really mean it? Or are they just singing the words without truly grasping their meaning? While the energetic playing style, plentiful sing-alongs, and Dead Kennedys-esque song structures make from a strong EP, the listener can’t help but be left with a lingering uneasiness. (Underground Operations)