Album Review :
The Social Threat - Protest Songs

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Band: The Social Threat
Release: Protest Songs
Label: none
Date: June 2011
Reviewed by: BMer

Track Listing:
01 – This Oppression
02 – Stop Taking Lives
03 – Blood Under the Bridges
04 – Sionara
05 – Here We Go
06 – Ramifications
07 – Let’s Stand Up
08 – Broken Bones
09 – Break Out
10 – Contrary to Popular Belief
11 – Fold or Bust
12 – Call to Arms
13 – Bystanders

The Social Threat is a 3-piece punk band playing a style of throwback punk that was popular in the late 90’s and early 00’s. They’ve been together since 2009 and Protest Songs is their debut. The album has a real DIY feel which could be a big plus for older punk fans who grew up in the 90’s, but might be a letdown for the younger generation that have higher expectations when it comes to quality recording. Protest Songs is ambitious featuring 13 songs and just over 30 minutes long. The Social Threat obviously takes influence from California-style punk bands like Pennywise, 98 Mute, and Good Riddance with their fast, smooth drumming and political stances.

The songs on Protest Songs are well constructed, “Ramifications” has the rock-n-roll feel with a slower punk beat and even a legit guitar-solo. “Stop Taking Lives” is probably the most memorable track on the album, featuring catching “whoa’s” and fist-pumps. This sounds like it came right off of an early Pennywise album. The opener “The Oppression” is classic with it’s break-neck speed and creative little breakdown.

A majority of the songs on Protest Songs stick to the same lyrical content, anti-big government, anti-corruption, anti-politicians, some of the typical punk themes. The lyrics fail to really convince though, rehashing generic revolution-style, call-to-arms lyrics but never really offering much in return of this revolution. Unlike bands like Good Riddance and Dogwood, The Social Threat never clearly define where they stand, what takes them 13 songs to say could of been said in 5.

OVERALL The band is young and it’s clear they have an idea of what they want to sound like which is punk. There aren’t many straight-up punk bands today so it’s a bold move to try to be punk in a scene of metalcore. The Social Threat really nail that punk sound with excellent drumming and tough-guy vocals, add in a few singalong sections and some catchy punk riffs and they’ve got a good collection of songs. The recording quality is rough around the edges and the guitar-work is somewhat lazy in parts, keeping the album from really making an impact.

Buy the album here or here