REVIEW: COMMON ENEMY “As the World Burns”

As the World Burns, the 5th full length offering from Reading, Pa’s ever vigilant Common Enemy shows no signs of slowing down and indeed finds the band even more the master of their excellent brand of thrashy punk rock than they were on Living the Dream. And that’s saying a lot. The 16 concise, angry, and dare I say slightly more serious songs located within this album are  a needed dose of thrash in a boring music world filled with ten million bands in their little sister’s pants that all seem to be playing the same eight minute long song. I honestly can’t find a more apt simile for this release than from the words of the band themselves in the album description: “pure post-apocalyptic chaos, and good times to be had with friends while sitting back and watching it all burn.”

As pointless as it is to draw comparisons with other bands on a 5th album, I get the same rush from this album that I get listening to Rich Kids on LSD. Immediately from the opening track Thrown Away, vocalist Gary sets the tone with his strong, pissed off delivery that will be his trademark throughout the album. The fun, irreverent songs I’ve come to expect from Common Enemy are here in abundance with songs like All I Want For Christmas Is A Bag Of Weed, as well as several songs that even touch serious social issues such as March Them Off To War (This Is Business): “Blasted by the mainstream media, we sit and mindlessly swallow every bit of shit they feed us. They tell us what to wear, what to eat, how to live and whose life has value. And if we can’t make the change, we’ve opened the door for the exploitation of the lower class everywhere.”

With the majority of the songs clocking in at under two minutes, more guitar harmonies than ever and drum beats tighter than an exceptionally ugly altar boy at a church filled with picky priests, Common Enemy has somehow found a way to refine their noise even further while breathing fresh air into a sound that was already in no danger of growing stale. 2012 is promising to be great in the arena of new punk albums, and As The World Burns is already an early contender for album of the year. With a genuine love for their craft that is both transparent and what punk rock is all about as well as a relentless touring schedule that will most likely have Common Enemy playing near you before very long, you would be making a huge mistake to sleep on this band or this album. You can pick up copies of it now exclusively from the band themselves or Overdose On Records.

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-Brian Lawrence

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