Counterpunch Sounds Off on Religious Hypocrisy with New Album Rewire

4.6 out of 5 stars

Counterpunch, a Chicago-based punk band, has been putting out some rocking punk tunes for almost 20 years now - jeez, where does the time go? And their first post-pandemic full-length album, Rewire is definitely an album that was worth the wait.

The band went into the studio to record an album back in 2019, but as the world came to a halt, they decided to take the extra time to make a full LP, and instead released a 7” with some B-sides on it called Handbook for the Recently Debriefed.

However, the band quickly got back to work, and they put together a fantastic album in Rewire which is set to release on June 17th, 2022.

You can pre-order the album directly from Thousand Island Records.

The album starts off with an intro song that quickly jumps right into the song “Avarice.” 

You will be able to tell right away that these guys draw some inspiration from bands like Pennywise, No Use For A Name, and Strung Out. They are hard hitting, melodic, and have harmonies on top of blasting drums and zipping guitars.

In their own statement, the band says, “Rewire tackles the double standard people of faith create by showing face in a place of worship once a week and then acting like a piece of human garbage elsewhere. They scream outrage over everything they don’t agree with as ‘against God’s way’ while ignoring the teachings of their faith. Every religion at its core is about loving your fellow man and reverence toward whatever ‘god’ you happen to believe in. Whether they choose to follow through on what they are taught, however, is another story.”

So, songs like “Waiting In The Wings,” “Judgement Day,” “Colateral Damage,” and “Paradise Lost” become very clear about what tone the band is firing at.

The whole album is very thematic with the anti-fake-religious sentiment.

One of my favorite songs on the album is the title track “Rewire” which is a short, sweet and absolutely smashing and crashing song with insane guitar work as well. Honestly, this is a song with a little bit of everything when it comes to punk music. It feels longer than it is (running at just under 2 minutes) as it has multiple style changes and breakdowns.

But to be honest, I really like ALL of the songs on Rewire. Counterpunch definitely has me convinced that the punk music that I grew up on is still alive and well and also that Illinois is pumping out some of the best bands in the world right now (see Kali Masi, The Copyrights, and more…).

One song that really stands out for me as a huge fan of drumming is “The Pendulum” with its thousand-mile-an-hour sustained drum rolls and just the loud bashing of the drums on those downbeats makes me want to break stuff.

If you really want to hear a Pop-Punk anthem, that would be the song, “Vanity.” This is just an absolute charmer of a song complete with vocal harmonies and speed drums that, while simultaneously keeping the speed of the song fast, the guitars and vocals don’t play at the same speed which makes it a great complementary timing structure that works really well. I always think that having one element go fast and the rest go slow creates a dynamic sound that is like a piece of music magic. 

I really like the songs “What’s Left to Save” and “Wish You Were Here” as well as they have a bit of a different tone as they remind me of one of my favorite bands, Mercy Music (shout out to those rad bastards). It’s definitely more pop than punk, but the drums and overall position of the band solidly keep them in the punk genre.

The final song on the album, “Paradise Lost” really finishes off the album with a great singalong song. The song calls out the fact that Earth is rapidly becoming a trash heap that will soon be uninhabitable due to human consumption and consumerism. Not a new topic, but in light of the fact that about 100,000 songs have been written on the subject, billions of people agreeing that we are doing something wrong and ruining the planet, and the fact that climate change is visibly apparent in the majority of the world, one has to ask, “How many more songs can we write before something significant happens to slow our demise?”

Overall, this album is definitely one of my favorites of 2022 - a year that is RIFE with tons of great punk music. There are probably more good punk albums this year than any year I have seen in a long time.