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February 8, 2023

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Link 80
17 Reasons... (Asian Man Records)

By: Alex Steininger

What happens when a bunch of "kids" ranging in age from 16-18 get together and crank out some punk-ska? If Link 80 are the "kids" then the outcome is some sweet, fast, hardcore punk with a brilliant horn section and some ska thrown in here and there for your listening pleasures! The title may be "17 Reasons..." but this album will throw more than "17 Reasons..." at you why Link 80 is going to be a very influential band in the future! It scares me the to think what these guys will sound like in a few years. The experience of the road, and musical maturity will turn these guys into super musical geniuses! These guys will be unstoppable in years to come! If you thought Operation Ivy was great, then you will find so much joy in Link 80! Not only can these guys kick out ear candy left and right, these guys can write lyrics as well! Most bands take years to put out something like "17 Reasons," but Link 80 nailed it on their first attempt!

The album kicks it off with "Verbal Kint." It starts out with drums and some nice horns, and then the talented vocals enter. It starts out very calm, but don't think that it's going to stay that way! It picks up the pace and just slams your head against the wall if your not ready. And then it slows down again, but then it starts to pick up again! After this one track, you will already be sold on Link 80. Track four, "Pretty Girls," is my second favorite track on the album. It starts out with some infectious guitar, and then the horns light up the night. When vocals enter you pay attention to what has to be said. "Now what can I do?/What can I say?/She's got a gun to my head/and I can't run away/Why do Pretty girls carry guns? Was she going to kill me just for fun?" shouts out the vocals. Not only can Link 80 be serious, they can also throw some satire into the mix! Track five, "Jeff Acree," is a hardcore punk tune with horns. Link 80 transfers their live energy perfectly onto this track (and all the other ones as well!) Very faced paced, this song is centered around action and intensity! Track six, "Screwed," is a melodic punk song, with beautifully played horns sure to please any fan of horns! The song also demonstrates their lyric power quite well: "I don't want to get old/and forget what's right/been stabbed in the back too many times in this life," and "You're no better than me/you're just old/you're part of a system/your bought and sold." Track eleven, "DimeStore Hoods," keeps it fast, and throws in a lot of melody as well! Near the end of it, it throws in some straight up hardcore. Now we come to my favorite track, "Nowhere Fast." It tells the story of a female that is sick of the place she lives in, and just wants to go somewhere else. But she always ends up back at the same spot, all strung out from her cocaine addiction, and wanting more. They keep it hard and fast, it contains some brilliant horns, great vocals, and is very infectious! You'll want to listen to it over and over again, but instead you'll just listen to the album over and over again, because every single song is very addictive and you'll just want more and more!

If you ever thought that someone wasn't capable of something this enjoyable because of their age, Link 80 shoves it in your face over and over again! With their motto, "Fuck Ageism," they constantly prove they are better than 99% of the older bands out there! This is definitely the best album 1996 produced, and I'm sure if they release another album in 1997 it will be the best album of 1997! This album gets an A+, but deserves SO MUCH MORE! It is just that good! Pick this album up! No excuses will be accepted!

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