Retox – Beneath California


Artist

Album

Beneath California

Label

Epitaph Records

Year

2015

For Fans Of

The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dead In The Dirt

Summary

Short but definitely not sweet.

Rating

77 / 100

Retox have continued their fantastically frantic assault on your eardrums with their third effort ‘Beneath California’. Just as they have done on their previous efforts they continue to blur the lines between genres to create a record that is, at its very core, confrontational, direct and raw. This time, however, the four-piece have tightened up their sound, and in the process become even more aggressive.

Clocking in at just on 23 minutes across its 12 tracks, ‘Beneath California’ is a short, tight listen. But, the record features enough memorable moments to stretch across an album double its length. Retox have built a reputation on the way they combine erratic guitar lines with a tight rhythm section and acid-tongued vocals, and this album highlights just how well these elements come together throughout.

The real strength of the record is its straightforward nature. Right from the get go it is obvious that the band members all have astute technical ability. However, it is the way they come together in the highest moments of chaos to create an anxious tension that, at times, feels like it might implode on itself, while still remaining catchy, memorable and cohesive that ensures this is a record you can keep coming back to.

Retox’s brash, bitter sense of humour and all out cynicism are once again on display in lyrics and song titles, but it is tracks like album highlight ‘Disappointing Grades’– delivered at break neck speed with its infectious, underlying groove- and ‘You’re Only A Crook If You Get Caught’– with its aggravating punk coming at you like a punch in the face- that prove this band is a whole lot more than cute, witty song titles.

Conclusion

Once again Retox have proven that sometimes the best things come in small packages. Their third album ‘Beneath California’ may be a short listen but it is chock full of punchy lyrics, groovy guitar lines and pulsing, chaotic drumbeats creating what will feel like the best damn punch in the gut you’ve received in a long time. Moments in the album where the band has tried to push out tracks longer can at times feel like they drag, but it is the shorter, sharper moments that really prove just how much bite Retox can pack into a couple of minutes.

Tracklisting

  1. Die In Your Own Cathedral
  2. We Know Who’s The Prick
  3. The Savior, The Swear Word
  4. Let’s Not Keep In Touch
  5. Disappointing Grade
  6. The Inevitable End
  7. This Should Hurt A Little Bit
  8. Death Will Change Your Life
  9. Without Money, We’d All Be Rich
  10. You’re Only A Crook If You Get Caught
  11. Wooden Nickels
  12. Strong Wrong Opinion

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