One Win Choice - Never Suspend Disbelief
Released October 23rd, 2007
Jump Start Records
What kind of mood can a listener be in to desire listening to political hardcore? I mean really. Listening through eleven or twelve similar sounding songs teeming with contrived machismo and overtly-blunt, uneducated lyrical snot-rockets sounds like an awfully artificial way to spend any amount of time. Undefined political charges and clichéd protests being spat in a puddle of churn-churn-double bass-churn is not, in my opinion, well translated onto disk. Note to these bands: Stop telling me to “rise up!” if you’re doing nothing of the sort, ‘cept making bad music in a dank basement. Hold a packed venue hostage until your politically-minded demands are met, or something.(1) The audience will probably think it’s cool, and hell, that’s great blog-fodder.
I thought on first listen that One Win Choice(2) was stepping out a little past the well-known, and pathetically under-criticized, boundaries of the genre. They were technical, again only on first listen, and there was enough substance for me to at least grasp. Once-overs have now, unfortunately, proved themselves to be a sorry way to review albums.(3) Never Suspend Disbelief is probably a good recommendation for those readers who will find offense to anything I’ve said above. Or maybe I’m wrong in saying that, and political hardcore listeners actually have standards. Vocally, the band is underwhelming – even when singer Dan Kloza is merely dropkicking this way and there with grizzly charges and clotheslines. It’s just unconvincing in technique. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, however, as you could probably see my bias against bands like this from space.(4) I can see, however, that One Win Choice does their best to throw a little flair in to things when they’re not stuck in genre contexts (“Us”, “Powder Keg”) and faceless conjectures about America’s “worker bees” not feeling “alive” (“Alive”). The band manages to turn the towards-the-end “I Deny” into a satisfactory four-minute anthem, despite the lyrics, “War is peace/Freedom is slavery!” Actually the lyrics, except for recycled shit like the latter, are not that bad. They’re all about breaking from the corporate machine and thinking for yourself, but Kloza manages to remove the abrasiveness, though don’t mistake him for an innovator, or one who can completely remove the fact that every song is distressingly preachy. And if you can’t get enough of ironically-placed sound clips of speeches, then look no further than here…and, well, everywhere else in the genre, actually.
So don’t bother. There’s a million better bands and albums than this where you can get hot-and-bothered twenty-two year-olds yowling about roughly the same thing and playing more or less the same hardcore-inspired punk. The only thing political punk motivates is fifteen year-olds to feel they know what they’re talking about when it comes to war in Iraq, or whatever the fluff of the week happens to be. Although American Idiot is my basis for this speculation, I can’t take any more chances – fuck political ideals spouted through uninspired music.
(1) I do not actually support such a thing. It would be cool, though.
(2) Is there such thing as a good hardcore band name? Only Horse. The Band comes to mind.
(3) Something I’ve not exactly just learned.
(4) It’s better if I admit it, right?
I wouldn't really associate bands of this nature with machismo at all, but this line is dead-on and pretty much sums up the album: "There’s a million better bands and albums than this where you can get hot-and-bothered twenty-two year-olds yowling about roughly the same thing and playing more or less the same hardcore-inspired punk."