Local Reviews: Stark Raving Mad

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Stark Raving Mad
Losin’ Ta Will it All
Self-Released
Street: 04.21
Stark Raving Mad = Against Me! + Avail + Punk dudes with musical talent
I always vomit a little when bands pull that “Oh, we’re not like other bands” thing, so Stark Raving Mad, who tout a manifesto like “Easily Defined, Easily Defeated” and piece hunks of ska, Gainesvillle melodies and cowpunk into a raucous punk sound, should have me blowing bruschetta all over my damn room … but I’m not. You see, for all their musical deviations, they’re rooted pretty heavily in all things traditional. I hear Lawrence Arms, Suicide Machines, Vandals (those leads on “Fishing with Dynamite”) and even Sublime (yuck), and so throaty anthems like “Gamblin,” “Expedite the Process” and “Atmosphere,” don’t needlessly alienate when the geetars get to squalling, but intrigue in their depth and flourishing musical complexity. I could do without the wacko monologues (do rats really not have shoulders?), but self-assured songwriting this tight just can’t go without a few dollops of praise on my end.