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June 19, 2024

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Kicked In The Teeth (Epitaph Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Playing fast, powerful, and very harsh punk rock for the past five years, Zeke has now landed a record deal with giant-indie punk kings Epitaph. And the first outcome of their new alliance with Epitaph is their debut Epitaph release, KICKED IN THE TEETH. Seventeen blasts of punk rock that are short and sweet. Never long and drawn out, they easily keep your attention as they rip through numbers at light speed, keeping the entire album under twenty one minutes. How's that for speed?

Kicking off everything with "God of GSXR," a thirty-six second blast of punk rock, they set the tone for the whole album. The guitars blast through the number with ease, running at warp speed without taking a breath. The drums, not to be out done, keep pace with the guitars with their furious assault of snare and cymbals, rapidly pounding straight to your head. The bass, a key element in the music, is thick and hearty, much like a bowl of thick, steamy soup on a cold winter's day. The vocals aren't the best, but in an highly-intense atmosphere such as this one, they serve as a compliment to the music itself. The title track gives up a longer song to indulge in, clocking in at a wee bit over one minute. By this point in the album, track six, you've become acquainted to the vocals, as they're rapid spitting of words meshed with the music becomes the norm. Still a compliment to the music themselves, they do become more integral to the music with each passing minute. And as expected, the music is still fast, intense and loud. The guitars seem to scream and run through the music without any sign of fatigue, while the drums sweat with each passing note, playing faster and more intense as the song gets deeper into your mind. "Revolution" keeps the action coming your way, proclaiming it is "time for a rock 'n' roll revolution." If a revolution is coming, and this is it, you better stand back or you'll be ran over. "Zeke You" changes the pace a bit, serving up a punk number that is three minutes and three seconds long, as well as slow...well, at least compared to the rest of the songs. Mixing in some guitar solos here and there, but done in fashion, and actually singing at a normal conversation pace, this song finally gives the listener the much needed rest they'll need. Because the previous twelve tracks sure don't give you time to rest, and if you went any further at this break-neck pace, you'd really break your neck. "Mert" closes out the CD with more fast, in-your-face punk rock. The same intensity and power of the rest, and it clocks in under a minute. Yes, Zeke sure knows "quickies."

If you're looking for punk rock that is straight ahead, balls-to-the-wall and leaves the Southern California pop infection way behind in the dirt, this is the CD for you. Hardly giving you time to know what hit you, they leave you with a vague recollection of something big and heavy coming near you before you blacked out. I'll give this CD an A-.

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