Toxic Reasons – Independence – Review

Toxic Reasons

Independence (Century Media)
by Troy D.

Remember when punk rock first raised its shaven head? Remember when no one used the phrase “punk rock”? These three albums are punk rock, without a doubt. But what’s the relevance of punk rock in 1994? Is punk rock like reggae, jazz, or classical? Will it persevere? Remember when reggae came to a head with lame bands like UB40 who added a pop sensibility to real, culturally exciting music and completely ruined it? Is this punk’s fate? Perhaps Green Day already proved this to be true. These three CDs show that the Bob Marleys of punk aren’t dead. The Bob Marleys of punk? The bands are reincarnations, if not original lineups, of late ’70s, early ’80s hardcore bands. Balls intact.

Independence from Toxic Reason possesses enough energy to give Johnny Lydon a coronary; they define rebellion. Angry, drunk, and disorderly – the perfect way to go through life. From the full-on punk of “Mercenary” to the ska influenced “Ghost Town,” this CD is rock at its finest: Raw and unproduced.

Keep the Faith from The Business carries a high level of energy with better production and a feeling of camaraderie. Fuck with these boys and you’ll get a bottle of beer against your head and a size 11 boot up your ass. Their history is too long and sordid to even summarize, so let’s just say this is sort of a reunion effort. The CD is chock full of rock bar chords and straightforward drumming. The simplicity of the music punctuates the angry vocals. Try being this pissed with Miles Davis backing you up and you’ll end-up sticking a pencil in your head. (I know, he’s dead.)

“Amsterdam,” from English DogsBow To None wins the fave tune award. Of course, a song about the sin capital of the world focuses on smoking Buddha. I quote: “I wanna party in Amsterdam, toke, smoke as fast as I can, and when I ever feel the need, I can buy a bag full of weed.” The singer even teaches how to spell Amsterdam. Gee, thanks. I recall these guys from my high school days. Yes, I am old. They started playing music very similar to this before flaking and turning thrash. Many made that mistake. But not to worry, they’re back. They retrieved their balls from the early ’80s and even pulled in some fresh ’90s sound to create a very high energy mix.

Buy all three discs. They’re not in a tidy box set like Metallicum, but I’ve got a shoe box you can put ’em in.