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The Bastard Suns / No Fuego - Dropping... Album Cover

The Bastard Suns / No Fuego - Dropping...

Reviewed by
7.6
The Bastard Suns / No FuegoDropping Expectations [Split]
Record Label: Unable Records
Release Date: January 2, 2008
To me, splits have always been an interesting concept. Instead of going the normal route of releasing an individual EP, a band, or label, decides to release an album with songs from two separate bands. More often than not the split seems to fall on its face. Whether it be because of a weaker band or a clashing of styles, it is sometimes fairly obvious they should have simply been released individually. However, every now and then a split will be released by two bands that seem to complement each other perfectly, such as the Hot Water Music & Leatherface split released some time ago. This, of course, brings me to Dropping Expectations by The Bastard Suns & No Fuego.

The Bastard Suns are the first half of the 14 track Dropping Expectations. And, to be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting much from them. Luckily it didn’t even take the entirety of the first track, “My Pint,” to prove me wrong. The Bastard Suns do for reggae-influenced punk music what The Flatliners do for ska-influenced punk. That is to say, while they don’t exactly do anything new, they take a hybrid style of music and do a more than respectable job with it. I admittedly have a soft spot for bands that blend different genres together successfully, but they just do it so well. Instead of walking the line between the respective genres, The Bastard Suns are not afraid to speed things up like the better punk bands; nor are they shy to lean heavily on their reggae influence. It is nearly impossible to guess where they’re going to go with a song, but it will no doubt be a lot of fun figuring it out.

Lead vocalist Clayton Hiers has a great voice, and what’s more he seems to have mastered the subtle nuances of changing his voice to fit the music. This, obviously, comes in handy with the type of music his band plays. On the beginning track “My Pint” he has a strong resemblance to Alex Brugge of Angel City Outcasts, whereas on the later reggae-influenced tracks the comparison would not be near as apt. Lyrically, the band once again shows their ability to seamlessly change things up. Often, sometimes in the same song, they’ll go from the fun “drinking” lyrics to the more socially-conscious lyrics often found in punk bands and are all the better for it.

While I would like to spend more time on The Bastard Suns, there is another band on this album. It just took me a while to figure that out, because I was too busy replaying the first half of the album. No Fuego are yet another hybrid band, but this time they play the bagpipe-laden celtic punk much like The Dropkick Murphys. And they start off with a bang. “Savvi” is a fun song that had me pumped up for the rest of the album. Unfortunately, after that song the quality drops off quite a bit. For one thing, they never seem quite sure just what to DO with the bagpipe. This is kind of odd, seeing as how it’s one of the major points of the band. In a few of the songs it just seems to sit there in the background, existing for the sole reason of giving the bagpipe player something to do. Some of the lyrics are not particularly great, and sometimes they seem to get in the way of the song.

This is where the difficulty with splits comes into play. I have a feeling if No Fuego were on a different album I would have a much more positive tone to my review of them. They’re really not a bad band; in fact I enjoy their half of the album. But they are, by far, outshined by The Bastard Suns and it reflects badly on them. So, while they show a lot of potential, I don’t see myself going past their first song on the album often. I suppose that means the split is a success; it introduced me to two bands I had previously never heard of and made me very interested in their future output. Really, I don’t think much more could be reasonably asked for.

Recommended if You LikeDropkick Murphys, Sublime, Angel City Outcasts, hybrid genres

myspace.com/thebastardsuns
myspace.com/nofuego
This review is a user submitted review from llmp. You can see all of llmp's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
03:45 PM on 07/27/08
#2
Adrian Villagomez
Heading Over to See 'Bout This Girl
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I enjoy the tone and delivery of your reviews.
07:55 PM on 07/29/08
#3
llmp
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I enjoy the tone and delivery of your reviews.

Thanks, Adrian.
02:33 PM on 07/31/08
#4
mrzippo3
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I'm SO glad to see this album reviewed! The Bastard Suns were one of my local favorites before I moved out here a few months ago. Can't wait for them to tour out here.. the recording quality on this is superb. This band is definitely going places with so much potential. THE SUNSSSS
02:35 PM on 07/31/08
#5
mrzippo3
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Also, see The Suns live, absolutely incredible.
07:12 PM on 08/03/08
#6
llmp
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I'm SO glad to see this album reviewed! The Bastard Suns were one of my local favorites before I moved out here a few months ago. Can't wait for them to tour out here.. the recording quality on this is superb. This band is definitely going places with so much potential. THE SUNSSSS

Glad I'm not the only one who like 'em! I had never heard of them before receiving this from AP, so hopefully I got a few people to check them out.
04:56 PM on 04/29/11
#7
ktripi
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The Bastard Suns are my absolute favorite Atlanta band. They have amazing music/lyrics. I could listen to them all day long. Clay is always so into his music, and it shows. It's fun to watch him on stage. I have seen several shows, and I have never left disappointed.

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