Editor's Rating

have a listen to 'Meds'

Rating out of 10

88 Fingers Louie – Thank You For Being A Friend

Release Date: 30th June 2017
Bird Attack Records

So, it has been nineteen years since 88 Fingers Louie released a full album. Their 1998 release, ‘Back on the Streets’ was followed up by a split with Dynamite Kid in 1999. Only weeks after releasing, the split album, the band disbanded due to vocalist Denis Buckley and bassist Joe Principe getting into a fight. Since then, Buckley went on to sing in the melodic hardcore band Explode and Make Up,  drummer John Carroll went on to drum for Paper Mice, while Dan Wleklinski and Joe Principe formed the band Rise Against, in which Principe still remains a member.

Fast forward to 2017 and it seems that the Chicago lads have settled old scores, signed to a new label (Bird Attack Records), and picked up where they left off in delivering some hard hitting skate punk with some hints of hardcore and melodic influences on their latest offering, ‘Thank You For Being A Friend’.

My knowledge of the older 88 Fingers Louie material is very vague, but from the very start with ‘Meds’, this is exactly the kind of sound I was expecting. Fiddly, yet distorted riffs, punchy rhythms and beats to bang your head to infectious vocal melodies that aren’t too different to Millencolin. It’s catchy, yet energetically vivacious. A great start to the album and the first taste to those who aren’t familiar with their older material. ‘Advice Column’ follows up a fair bit more up-tempo, a lot more skate-punk vibed, while ‘Knock It Off’ slows things down and has a rather uplifting tone with only some subtle angst.

‘Catastrophe Awaits’ sticks out as my favourite track, the intro is a lot more technical with some tapping guitar melodies, layered tracks to make it sound like a duet. There is a different kind of intensity to it and angst. It’s more hardcore driven with some chugging riffs and aggressive vocals. Yet the chorus has that anthemic hook to it, it’s a pure pit started and crowd sing-along track.

The rest of the album is a pretty formulaic combination of skate punk and melodic epi-fat punk that would be perfect for a skating game soundtrack. It’s a solid release and a fantastic return from 88 Fingers Louie who have unleashed some proper up-tempo hits to create real live energy.

For fans of: Flying Frogs, Millencolin

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