As the first song off of Hangnail floats by, it cries out its resemblance to Bad Religion – minus the style, skill or Greg Gaffin’s vocals. That similarity goes quickly from proving Hangnail’s unoriginality to providing their irony, as this band is unabashedly all about God. They’re four guys who look like their only impression of punk rock is a MTV-glazed Blink-182, and they play non-catchy and unenergetic music that resembles punk in only its speed and level of distortion.
Every song, with the exception of two, sound like they came out of a youth-outreach program from the church. There are songs about finding God, about loving God, about God making their decisions for them, and it just goes on from there. There’s even an anti-abortion song which, granted, does follow a long tradition of punk’s political origins, but it sounds horribly contradictory coming from the pope’s point of view. It’s a fleeting rarity that a punk band would ever gain success or meager glory from shoving religion down their listener’s throats, and their lyrics are so overly-stuffed with God that anybody but their target demographic of presumably church youth groups would be completely uninterested. But it’s not just their lyrics that are dragging – they can’t write good punk rock, either.
BEC Recordings, PMB 20, 810 3rd Avenue #410, Seattle, WA 98104