Review: Regulations “s/t” CD

Whoa! What the fuck!? If you told me that this shit was recorded in 1981 or something I would absolutely believe it! Even all of the band photos look to be dated back to that general early-80's time period! Apparently this Swedish band formed after the breakup of Epileptic Terror Attack and looks to the early LA punk scene for their influences, and damn if they haven't nailed that approach. Expect 12 quick tracks of simple, straightforward, catchy punk rock with basic power chords, relatively lightweight yelling vocals that are kind of walking a line between talking and shouting sort of in key, and somewhat of a snotty sense of anger. The recording is fucking dead on, too. It's pretty dry and thin, but it sounds totally authentically dated in terms of its plunky basslines deep in the mix, the sort of flat drum sounds, and faintly distorted guitars and thin vocals running the show. Some of those adjectives might make it seem as though the production sucks, but that's not true at all, it actually sounds pretty good, and I'm stunned that this shit was tracked in 2005, because I really do have to commend them for how well they've captured that early-80's west coast US sound. "Anna's Eyes" is a great opener since it's one of the most memorable tracks and immediately demonstrates what the band is shooting for, while "I Don't Need" is a little more rocked out in its use of pulsing midpaced power chords, whereas "No More Hell" is a little faster and messes with some of the chord structures a little more. "Fashion Girl" is one of the only tracks that uses just a bit of melody, and "Police Siren" opens with some unexpectedly dissonant chords that sound very much unlike anything else herein, and that sort of discordant attack seeps in elsewhere and makes this one of the few tracks that sounds like they're tossing in a handful of contemporary influences to spice up the classic framework. The layout's all done in black, white, and red with a few band photos and all of the lyrics, which are simple, but more serious than the snotty edge of some of the music might suggest. The only element of that kind of sound that seeps into the way they approach the lyrics is that everything is stripped straight down to the base level with lines like, "A weapon of mass destruction, A blast, Total annihilation, I don't wanna die..." And that's basically the setup in other tracks that attack religion, the cops, stress, etc. Is it original? No, of course not. But at the same time, it's incredibly rare for a band to be able to efficiently pin down a style of music that's over two decades old like this, so I really commend these guys for being able to accurately pull it off. Plus, they write good songs, so any fan of that era of hardcore/punk that's looking for something new should give this a shot. Good work.

Running time - 24:27, Tracks: 12
[Notable tracks: Anna's Eyes, Police Siren, No More Hell, Fashion Girl]
Havoc Records -