It’s easy to get jaded. It’s especially easy to get jaded about music. When you listen to a lot of one kind of thing, you will eventually start to notice the same little tropes being used all the time. This isn’t a bad thing. It just makes it more fun when you find a thing that doesn’t hit the same notes every time.
That is what is great to me about American Thunder Band (formerly Texas Instruments). Neither Here Nor Thayer is a really solid 23 minutes of post-hardcore and emo. Unlike some other bands, they keep the punk roots of those genres in the front. While they play very close to those genres’ base, it makes it’s own name. I hear a lot of these types of records, but this one does not get lost in the shuffle. It’s pretty great is what I’m trying to say.
There isn’t a filler song anywhere near this thing. Making a full length with a relatively short run time only seemed to make American Thunder Band even more focused. Everything is precise and focused. When you hear the opener, “Spring Break 08 II,” you know what to expect. The tone was set, and every following song follows suit. “Good Hank,” especially vocally, has a sort of controlled chaos to it. Multiple voices all trading off and working together. “Eazy-E Can Eat A Big Fat Dick” is also fantastic. It has really nice guitar lead running through it, and gets really aggressive during the chorus. And, on the other side of the more post-hardcore instrumentation, “Butt World” is the most straight forward punk song on here.
This record is a fucking beast from front to back. Lyrically it’s introspective and moving. Musically, it’s agressive and cathartic. People will pigeonhole this as an “angry” record. That’s true to a point. People mistake yelling vocals for anger. There is a lot of emotion behind these songs, and you owe it to yourself to give it a go. Don’t fucking sleep on this.