Operation Ivy - Energy - 4.5/5
BIG CARL'S BIG TOP 5 BIG MID-NINTIES AMERICAN PUNK #2
First of all, if there are any fools out there who have been following my countdown, I apologise for the delay. Second of all, I'm lazy, so get over it :P
I bought this album (again, in my teens) having loved Rancid and found out that this is the former band of Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman (Vocals/Guitar and Bass respectively). I was expecting something at least as good as Rancid. What I got was something better.
This has every charm that Rancid had - the griminess, filthiness and generally scummy style of Punk that caught my heart - only it has a lot more Ska influence. That's not to say that there aren't any straight-up Punk songs to tickle your dirty fancy, because Hell, there is. Knowledge being an obvious one, a great singalong.
The value for money here is incredible. On one disc, you get a mammoth 27 tracks. That's because this release is the original Energy album, and an EP (or two?) tacked on the end. They all blend seemlessly, to great effect. The songwriting is nothing more than masterful - these guys really knew how to write a good, powerful Punk song. Another great inclusion is tracks like Bad Town which are pure Ska.
Anyone looking for something like Streetlight Manifesto or Less Than Jake won't quite find it here (although disappointment is unthinkable), as this is one of the prototypical Ska/Punk bands. The songs aren't especially long, but fuck, there's 27 of them to keep you going. You'll easily find at least 10 that you won't be able to stop humming, and will be looking forward to listen to. This album is quite essential for fans of the scene, and even people who aren't familar with the sound. Listen to this, you owe it to yourself.