A large portion of my summers between 2002 and 2004 was devoted to grinds, pop-shove-its and secret tapes on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for Play Station One. Skating in the mall and in the warehouse was fun in its own right, but the great soundtracks made the whole experience doubly more enjoyable. I look fondly back on those sessions sitting on the basement rug in front of the static-prone Zenith.
“Cyco Vision” by Suicidal Tendencies, “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” by Primus, “Committed” by Unsane and “New Girl” by Suicide Machine regularly played in my head during those days. And now, listening to these three songs by The Reignsmen, I am reminded of that sweet sector of my childhood when videogames were a welcomed retreat from long hours playing in the sun.
Hailing from Santa Barbara, CA, The Reignsmen has crafted rock music that harkens back to the late nineties West coast emo and punk. And, in some weird way, it’s refreshing, simple. Songs “Animals,” “Heatwave” and “Nearest Star” are fast, furious, and energetic, but without the pyrotechnics covering over dripping rawness.
Picture people skating at a park on a California beach; crowds of people move in waves; energy drinks abound. It’s essentially a scene from Grind, but missing a band. The Reignsmen is that band.
This batch of songs will deeply resonate with twenty-year olds who skated growing up, but I think this band can build a career on more than nostalgia. “Nearest Star” is nearly seven-minutes long, and shows the band is open to new ideas and willing to experiment. The potential is there, but the longing for the past is hard to shake.
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