Action Sédition and Spanner have teamed up to launch a bilingual bash of old-school proportions. Upbeat and angry, but with a spring in its step, this history lesson is for anyone uneducated in ska-punk. Grungy voices griping about authority paired with the crunch of the distortion pedal, there is a unique juxtaposition within this EP which features Spanner’s Brit-punk attitude playing off the crustiness of francophone Action Sédition.
Since this is a split EP, I feel it’s fair to separate the bands for this this review.
Spanner has a sound that brings you back to early punk days, at least for me. It does what’s expected without taking any risks. The horns are a staple for ska, and they are played well. The vocals are classic punk rock, gravely and scathing. The bass is steady and constant, and brings the groove that lets the guitar crunch away. Spanner’s tracks have great dynamics, taking you to many musicals places, all while keeping you interested.
“Always Anti-fascist” is pretty self-explanatory. I’m not sure if I know any pro-fascists, but hey, they just want you to know how much fascism sucks. It has a lot of changes, and the horns add awesome texture.
“Impossible” starts out fast and quickly becomes a syncopated ska tune. Then back to punk! Again, the lyrics here aren’t anything new, just an echo of classic punk acts. This is a tune to which you would skank and drink without really following the words. The bass solo seems a bit awkward in it’s execution, but otherwise it is solid.
Maintenant en français…Nah, just kidding.
The second half of this e.p. comes from Action Sédition, and it’s not as dynamic as the first. The songs are pretty straight-forward. The riffs seem hit-or miss, sloppy at times, which is an aesthetic for punk bands. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to draw the line. Their half of the album offers heavier hits, crustier vocals and no horns.
“Histoire d’un printemps” starts off with a riff that sounds like something you would hear passing by a high school music room at lunch, but picks up later on in the song. If you like shouting vocals, either of these tracks should give you something to bang your head to.
“Classe contre classe” is pretty much the same story, up and down punk, not super ambitious, but played with force and attitude.
All in all, I think I’ll stick with contemporary punk bands like The Flatliners. If you want to listen to some old-school punk, and want something new at the same time, you could do a lot worse than History Lessons.
Written by Jacques Asselin