UnfrightenedTorch of Hope Records
By Cole Faulkner
Long running Switzerland skate-punk act Hateful Monday has based their career around everything you love about 90’s skate-punk. Fast, melodic, and lyrically bright, the band bares all the markings of a talented punk rock band that isn’t ashamed to follow their passion. Their latest full length, Unfrightened, serves as a statement of intent of their lasting commitment to their craft.
The message is clear right from the get go, with the album’s themes centring around the band’s refusal to let their aging identities stifle their commitment. In opener “As Far As I Can Remember,” vocalist “Reverend” Seb lays out his case, stating confidently that “As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a punk-rocker, as long as it keeps me alive, I know things gonna be alright.” “Dorian Gray Syndrome” echoes a similar sentiment, exploring the unyielding tick of the clock and surreal sense of looking at an dusty class photo only to realize that thirty years has passed on by. The song advances at a blistering pace, mirroring the quick passage of time with breakneck drumming and a sweeping melodic chorus.
But the entire album isn’t built on simple self reflection, as the trio further channels their quick paced punk rock to make outward observations. For instance, “I.N.I.T.I.A.L.S. (The greatest song ever)” takes a mere forty-four seconds to rattle off a sizeable list of legacy acts like “GBH JFA RKL DOA DRI DYS AFI MN8” and arrive at the smirk worthy conclusion that “All the best bands have only initials for names, except of course for us and Bad Religion.” Other times, Hateful Monday dabbles in political themes. “Nuclear Optimism (is so 50’s)” reflects on the state of international affairs and questions prevailing wisdom, condemning the merciless spread and sweeping reach of “The haze of our arrogance.” These songs reach their target and communicate effectively in two very different ways.
Hateful Monday fits right in amidst contemporaries like Rebuilder, Strike Twelve, The Decline, and so many more that continue to wave the now classic EpiFat flag of the 90’s. While there isn’t exactly anything new to phone home about, Hateful Monday is true to their sound and embeds their music with heart and soul of the genre they so clearly hold dear. Fans of that melodic 90’s EpiFat sound stand to gain much from Unfrightened.