Review of 'Loose Change' by Michael wilson (a.k.a. Gogs)
Mellow Dramatic, then. A three-piece from up Coleraine direction whose line-up now is a lot different from when I first heard them just over a year ago. Apparently they’ve gone through 18 members already – Dangerfields part II anyone?

The first song on this demo is entitled ‘weak’ and ironically is anything but. It starts out at blistering speed and seldom lets up, except to throw in a bass solo and some guitar warblings in the breakdown. It’s loud and aggressive; a genuine, driving punk rock song, with a definite nod to the likes of Pennywise. A strong opener.

Unfortunately things start to go down hill at this point. The second track slows things down and takes me back to the days of Acupunkture (current Mellow Dramatic guitarist and vocalist Jonny’s previous band). The song plods along, slightly faster than mid-paced, but not much, and never really goes anywhere. The vocals are beginning to sound nasal and I get the impression he’s trying too hard to actually ‘sing’.

Following on we have the token ska song every pop-punk band seems to feel the need to include in their repetoire. What’s worse is that it’s a blatant Reel Big Fish rip-off. Next.

Tracks 4 and 6 are what can only be described as ‘joke songs’. Why anyone would waste recording time on this kind of thing is beyond me. At least they’re not too long though so you won’t have to reach for the skip button. Stuck in between however, is another track entitled ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’. Think Smash-era Offspring and you’ve got the idea. One of the better tracks on the CD, no doubt. Lyrically it’s not too deep, and as far as punk cliches go, how does “Fuck The Government” sound? Quality tune however so that can be forgiven.

The final song ‘Over’ is another one that could easily draw comparisons to The Offspring, perhaps more Ixnay-esque this time around. It starts off slowly and after a 45 second intro, transcends into another fast-paced punk rock song. Vocals are kept to a minimum and perhaps this is why I like it so much - for the most part the music does the talking and the track takes on an almost epic feel; as epic as So-Cal style punk can sound, anyway.

This isn’t a bad demo, and if you’re into your Pennywise, Offspring, NOFX type stuff then you might as well give it a go. I can’t help but think that if this was a 3 track CD consisting of ‘Weak’, ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ and ‘Over’ that it would make a more lasting impression. Quality over quantity, innit.
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