Total Chaos Freedom Kills

Given some of their actions in the past, "politipunks” Total Chaos have come across as little more than goons regurgitating both the confrontational grit of street punk and political standpoints that are "safe” by their scene’s standards. However, over the course of seven albums, they’ve not only managed to update their sound with technical ability and the infusion of more grindcore-ish elements (thunderous drumbeats and an attack that borders on cacophony) but they’ve actually worked at developing some meat behind the views. Not only that, but they’re branching out into less-slanted territory and just enjoying writing. This culminates in Freedom Kills, an album that comes across as Beat the Bastards-era Exploited with more brains and less ignorant brawn. Songs including "Paix America,” "Horrorvision” and "One Way System Lies” are a perfect blend of information and just plain fun, making the album not only a hypersonic, overdriven blast of Casualties-esque distortion mixed with catchy choruses, but a touch of infotainment at the same time. A light-hearted cover of the Misfits’ "Attitude” feels closer to the Guns N’ Roses one of years past but at least it proves these guys do know how to have fun every once in a while without perverting their Ripcordz-meets-Rancid aura. (SOS)