The Pack Is Back (Cyclone Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Germany's hard-edged, blistering fast, street punk band Oxymoron delivers the goods on their second full-length record, THE PACK IS BACK, which is released in Germany through Knockout Records, and in the states by the top street-punk label Cyclone Records. With fourteen juicy songs to kick you in the ass and call you to action, Oxymoron brings the intensity level up a few notches and hammers out punk rock as working class as it can be.
From the opening chords of "Get A Gun" the band has you in total awe. I just recently got to see these guys on tour with Dropkick Murphys, and although the CD blew me away, seeing them live gave me so much more prospective into their sound, and made me realize just how much energy they put into their punk, my jaw dropped to the floor. Take "Razor's Blade" for instance. The guitars leave you crippled, as they chop through you with razor-sharp riffs. Match that with a pounding rhythm section that won't let anything get in their way, and snarling vocals that scream with so much intensity it brings the ceiling to the ground, and you've got street punk at its best.
The band is a tireless machine, they just keep pouring out the punk track after track. "Bleed" and "Kamikaze" whip through you with under-three-minutes blast of punk rock so dirty and raw, you can't help but revel in their madness.
"Crazy World" and "Insane" also throw the street punk at you with a raw charge that is both dirty and pure. There is no time for pop frills on this disc, the band saves all the space for knuckle-breaking, head-pounding street punk the way it was meant to be.
After seeing these guys on tour with Dropkick Murphys, a band that is also very intense live, I've got to say that they blew Dropkick off the stage. Everyone in attendance, for the most part, was there for Dropkick and left fully converted into Oxymoron fans. Thank goodness they're able to capture their live sound on record, because when they're not in your area playing, you can still enjoy the CD's without feeling shameful. I'll give the album an A.