Album Review: Various Artists – Bridging Oceans (Various Labels)
The French punks Bare Teeth are back with an international punk split, along with Nerdlinger (Australia), Down Memory Lane (Canada) and Shames (Japan).
The split, titled “Bridging Oceans”, is out now via 4 labels: Pee Records (Australia), Disconnect Disconnect Records (UK), Thousand Islands Records (Canada) and Attractive Records (Japan).
On this new release, Bare Teeth’s vocalist Greg comments:
“Basically, it’s an idea that has been on my mind for a long time. I’ve always found that a split was a great way to discover other bands and to help each other! We can use the communication and the fanbase of each band and it allows us to build strong links. We already knew Shames as we played with them in Japan in 2018 and they are really excellent. Even though we never met Nerdlinger and Down Memory Lane, we know their music quite well.”
I love the idea of this release. An absolutely killer idea, showcasing modern punk across four continents. Beginning in Europe, France to be specific with Bare Teeth’s three-track offering. What we have are punchy and upbeat tracks with all the intensity of early-Offspring but less Californian sunshine. Running Wild is a hyper start, the short solo is effective before Death Note gives us harsher hardcore-lite vocals and gang-shouts. Love this track.
They wrap up their efforts with Story Tellers, a frantic rhythm offset by the straight-forward vocals and a guitar twang that is proper pleasing.
The Canadians, Down Memory Lane come next and the difference between them and Bare teeth is startling. Less punk, more pop-punk. However, that’s not a criticism unless you dislike pop-punk. Personally, if it’s done well, I love it and Down Memory Lane do it well.
Vices and Unknown Veterans are so bouncy, the latter having a little more pace to it but both are foot-tappers. While The Tyler Durden Way is super-catchy and the harmonising vocals mixed with some great guitar work makes this their best offering.
It’s off to the land down under for Aussie punkers Nerdlinger, a rawer and more intense set of tracks. With a little bit of early Blink 182 about it, Baseballs kills it with an honest sounding fast punk tune. Pack It to the Top is very different by contrast, more reminiscent of ska punkers Less Than Jake. It’s bloody brilliant though, probably the catchiest and best track on the entire album. Finally its Videotapes that ends Nerdlinger’s excellent efforts, a moodier but expectational finish.
Our round trip makes its final stop in Japan. A country where you might not expect to find punk but Shames certainly change that. Frantic and energetic, Best Place can stand proudly amongst the best of what this album has to offer. The chorus alone is solid gold.
Break the Parasite keeps the blood pumping and here the band show off some immense guitar skills, even throwing in a solo.
Their final effort and the last track on the album is Miles Away. One last tap your foot, shake your leg, bang your head…whatever it is, it will happen even if you don’t mean too. That’s how catchy and feel-good this last track is.
Not just the track, but the whole album. 4 bands, 12 tracks, 3 each…it could have been a mess but it’s not. Instead it’s downright excellent.
Various Artists – Bridging Oceans Full Track Listing:
1. Running Wild (Bare Teeth)
2. Death Note (Bare Teeth)
3. Story Tellers (Bare Teeth)
4. Vices (Down Memory Lane)
5. Unknown Veterans (Down Memory Lane)
6. The Tyler Durden Way (Down Memory Lane)
7. Baseballs (Nerdlinger)
8. Pack It to the Top (Nerdlinger)
9. Videotapes (Nerdlinger)
10. Best Place (Shames)
11. Break the Parasite (Shames)
12. Miles Away (Shames)
Check out album over on Spotify and pick it up via Bandcamp.
Various Artists – Bridging Oceans (Various Labels)
The Final Score - 9/10