ALBUM REVIEW: Out Of Order – Life Sentence (Bad Report Productions/8 Up Records)
Out Of Order are a street rock ‘n’ roll band from Montreal, Canada, who have been around in one form or another since 2001, and this is their fourth proper album.
It’s the first where they have joined forces with leading UK DIY label and promoter Punkboot Promotions, which is handling the CD version of the album.
I hadn’t heard the five-piece before I was asked to review this, but I’ll certainly be looking up their back catalogue (a couple of singles and the albums Written On The Walls (2013), Better Days (2014) and Stuck In The Mud (2017)).
Life Sentence is 14 slices of Oi!-influenced punk which veers off at times into metal and hardcore territory, but there’s always melody at the heart of the record.
Singer Scott Maracle isn’t your typical Oi! vocalist – he’s far gruffer than that – and they touch on several different styles, from the frantic UK82-ish opener Camels, to the tough street-punk of lead single Berlin Wall, whose chugging guitars and gang choruses remind me of 90s Dutch band Discipline.
Joel Bellamare’s rock ‘n’ roll lead breaks and solos are underpinned by bassist Francois Lalonde’s rhythm lines, Pat Turbin-Bibeau’s solid rhythm playing and drummer Andy Stomper’s fast-paced backbeat.
Suffice to say by the time you get to the catchy-as-hell title track Life Sentence five songs in, you’ll probably be hooked. “It’s not a trend, this is a life sentence,” is certainly apt for these guys.
The whole record is bursting with energy, never more so than on Bad Report, while Wasted Days, another standout track, is one of the most melodic on the album.
Peoria, an ode to the joys of life on the road, shows Out Of Order’s versatility by incorporating a ska breakdown and harmonica, and Winds, with its slightly more laidback pace and gang choruses, wouldn’t look out of place on a record by The Bouncing Souls.
Hard Times is a rallying call for when the going gets tough, and No Heros and Playground see the band show their harder edge by veering off into Sick Of It All/Madball territory.
If you like old-school bands like One Way System or The Partisans, through to more modern acts like Bishops Green and The Terraces, I think you’ll like this. 8/10
* Out Of Order’s entire back catalogue is available for streaming and download on all major streaming sites now.