- by Chris Crane
The follow-up to 2004’s “Fast Forward Eats the Tape”, Belvedere’s “Revenge of the Fifth” kicks strong out of the gate, with a fast drive reminiscent of NOFX, before taking a quick turn to a minor key, half the tempo, and melodic dueling guitars giving way to vocals that strike me as a mix of radio friendly “punk” vocalists from the early 2000’s, and Millencolin’s Nikola Šarčević. There’s a lot of talent here. The Drums are spot on and the guitars are everything from chunky fast rhythm to flying melodic leads. The production value has matured, but strikes me as overly compressed, sacrificing a bit of edge as a result. Thankfully the piccolo snare is gone.
Belvedere is a band of technically proficient musicians who are overqualified for straight ahead punk rock, and probably not complacent doing so either. Appropriately, they’re playing something else. This album is riddled with tempo changes, breaks, and break downs that make it hard for me to latch onto. There’s more complexity than you can manage with 3 chords and no bridge, and there’s weight to it, but I wouldn’t call it catchy. This feels like a reasonable progression from their previous album especially considering the 12-year gap in their discography. In it, I hear hints of Millencolin and Ten Foot Pole, but I can’t list off more comparable bands ‘cause this isn’t my sub-genre. If any of that sounds good to you, go get this album. If piccolo snares sound good to you, consult your doctor.