Small Arms Dealer Patron Saint of Disappointment

Clawing its way back from emo irrelevance, Deep Elm Records keeps churning out the hits. Small Arms Dealer’s Patron Saint of Disappointment is certainly another proud notch in their "solid punk records” belt. Taking a page out of the Latterman book of passionate, rough-around-the-edges punk rock, most of the songs reach a point where they appear to be holding on by a thread before a rousing finale brings it all back in a multi-vocal blast of throat-tearing emotion. A little more classically hardcore than label-mates Latterman, songs like "Small Arms Dealer Makes Baby Jesus Cry” possess some Rollins-era Black Flag kick while still maintaining a tight hold on hardcore’s more melodic modern incarnation. Proving that the band aren’t interested in running one sound into the ground, that same song ends with a bizarre folk ballad about shitting blood. Immediately following is "Venkman, Burn In Hell,” the band’s contribution to the realm of Hot Water Music-influenced punk rock, and one of the few tracks on the record to wear its singular influence proudly on its sleeve. Mostly though, Patron Saint is a compelling and original mix of modern punk elements. (Deep Elm)