This Means War

Pirates Press Records, 2019


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Belgium/Netherlands punk quintet returns after an impressive 10” EP in 2017. Here, This Means War proves on their debut album that they are absolutely one of the most exciting outfits in today's punk rock scene.

“Why We Fight” starts the listening with driving guitars, a fiery rhythm section, and melodic vocals guiding the way as the anthemic setting unfolds with a hard hitting yet very tuneful formula, which follows into the bouncy, blue collar punk sounding “Pressure.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Moving along, the playful bass lines and contagious gang vocals help make the charged “Hang 'Em High” one of the best here, while “The Unseen” recruits a punk 'n' roll approach with 'woh oh ohs'  backing the vocals. Side A ends with “Off With Their Heads,” a cover of a tune by The Old Firm Casuals, where they nearly touch on pop-punk with their street punk and Oi! influences at the surface.

Side B is just as luminous, and it offers the percussively strong “Greed Is Out,” the soaring and heartfelt “What Are Friends For,” and the fist-pumping fun of “I Found The One.” The LP ends on “Forever,” which encompasses everything This Is War is about: power, melody, authenticity, and a thriving punk rock spirit.

Comprised of members of Discipline, Superhero, Convict and Hidden Guns, This Means War brings together their collective strengths, which collide with precision, intensity, and melodic unity. The listen brings to mind legends like Cock Sparrer or The Bouncing Souls, and even Old School American Hardcore, too.

Listening to Heartstrings brings us back to the first time we heard The Crew (7 Seconds) or even lesser known punk albums like Smoke Or Fire's This Sinking Ship, and much like those classics, it's a listen that will be relevant for decades to come and will sound as perfect than as it does now.

Rating: A

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© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Pirates Press Records, and is used for informational purposes only.