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April 18, 2024

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By: Jeb Branin

There is no way I can overstate how much I was looking forward to hearing this CD. That is due primarily to the fact that KNOWITALL's lead howler is Brad Barker one of my all time favorite vocalists and frontmen. For well over a decade Brad's voice has been a constant part of my life. Whether it was screaming for crossover gurus VICTIMS WILLING, the short lived but great HAIRFARM or the gods of heavy core ANGER OVERLOAD, Brad is the epitomization of my ideal punk vocalist. And surprisingly enough, I am jazzed by the fact that KNOWITALL marks a distinct change in musical direction for Brad. Whereas heavy handed (I daresay metal tinged) music has always been a major component of his bands in the past, KNOWITALL is far more of a classic melodic punk act. All the pissy attitude, passion and anger that are requisite in good punk are here in full measure and there is no way that this CD could fail to rock you off your ass, but at the same time KNOWITALL shows a pop sensibility that would make many a Fat Wreck Chords band green with envy. But anyone who thinks "wimpy" is setting themselves up for a solid punk punch in the face. Y'see KNOWITALL effectively mixes speed and venom with their hooks for a very hard edge. Brad's voice is all over the place, sometimes crooning ("The Way It Goes"), sometimes ohh-ohhing and doo-dooing with the poppiest of them ("Cindy"), and sometimes blasting like a machine gun in his trademark rapid fire bark ("Band Aid" or "Punk Rawk Angel"). Musically the band are equally diverse and exciting. They cover every piece of punk ground there is from pseudo-ska ("She's Lonely") to fire brand hot melodic hardcore rage ("Couch Ride"). Punk purists will also be happy to know that this entire project is as DIY as you can get. Recorded on a home computer, burned on CDR, hand packed in jewel cases with xeroxed/hand assembled covers/tray cards and sold exclusively by the band at their live gigs. Considering all this, it is amazing how good this CD sounds. Remember kiddies, you heard it hear first!
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