Doc Rotten Knocks It Out of the Park with New Punk Anthem Album Unite Resist
4.9 out of 5 stars
If you like energetic, technically sound, lyrically masterful punk rock music, then you absolutely have to check out Doc Rotten’s new album Unite Resist. This is one of the best punk albums I have heard lately, and I am going to break down the whole album because it is worth doing so.
The band put all their combined skill together with each member contributing to the songwriting process, and the music being so much more amped up then anything they have ever done. It is clear that going off into the woods and recording in a cabin was a good idea - a story they mentioned during our podcast interview with them.
Right out of the gate, the song “Intro” (an all instrumental with some “Hey”s thrown in there) sets the bar really damn high. This fast-paced crowd mover will definitely get you pumped for the rest of the album. The drumming is definitely a highlight in the song, and the guitars are driving and have a bit of a solo threaded in there.
The next song “15 years” is a classic singalong style song that harkens to songs like “Brass Tacks,” and it is certainly going to be a fan favorite on the album. It’s a song about being stuck in the same place (for 15 years), and I think a lot of people can relate to that…especially right now. Lead singer Wes Bentley wrote the song, and it is filled with anger but also reflection.
The music in the third track “Out of Luck” shows exactly why Doc Rotten is one of the best punk bands on the East Coast, and one of my favorite bands of late. The guitar leads, the rolling bass line, and the varied drum techniques laced throughout this song are a staple of why drummer AJ Martinez is so damn fun to watch and listen to. The guitar from Andy Keris is exceptionally smooth on this track as well.
The fourth track “Open Your Eyes” is the epitome of the sound that I recognize as Doc Rotten, but it is taken up a notch with more zest and vigor than even some of their best songs previously. More backing harmonies. More guitar. More singers. More everything.
The next track “Hopeless” reminds me a LOT of Rancid songs where Lars Frederiksen sings. It even has a nice couple of bass lines by Doug Pombo in tribute to Rancid bassist (and certifiable punk bass god), Matt Freeman. If you like old school Rancid (like I do), then this is a song you will definitely appreciate.
The sixth song is the lead single from the album “Psych Ward 103.” A song that guitarist Keris told us was written about a friend of his who kept going to “Florida” (a.k.a. rehab), and when he played it for his friend, he was not so happy about it. That anecdote aside, the song absolutely bangs, and the video is a stellar piece of work with a full production and film crew done by D.I.Why? Films.
Track seven, called “Hero,” is lyrically the best song on the album, in my opinion. A song written by Martinez about a person who helped shape his character, his grandfather, but “with some punk scene alterations” as Martinez mentioned to me during a chat.
The eighth track is “Dirty Hands, Dirty Money,” and it is another staple of the Doc Rotten sound. The track is actually a cover song written by Ryan Gorham (Side Pocket Louie) and turned into a punk rock anthem. The original is a bit country. It’s a great anthem for the people living with little means and big dreams who feel the pull to turn to crime to make ends meet or get ahead in life. This song does have a bit of a breakdown in the middle that gets a bit folky like an Irish drinking song (likely a tribute to the original as well). It works incredibly well. You can absolutely envision this song being sung at a pub anywhere in the world.
The title track “Unite Resist” is track 10 on the album, and it is a song about fighting back against the government and rich powerful lobbyists who control the country with money even though we, in America, are supposed to be a democratic republic. The refrain that includes the rhyme “Unite. Resist…We’re Pissed.” is easily one of the most sing-able lines in the album.
The next track “Empire” follows right along with the same concept about how Doc Rotten hopes to see the fall of the “deception, corruption” of the current political system. Just another absolute banger as well. The line, “Whatever happened to unity. Brothers and sisters not you against fucking me,” is the over-arching theme of the message of the album as well. It’s one thing that Bentley mentioned in our podcast interview as well. He said, “We have all the power,” and his lyrics in both songs explain how he believes that to be true.
“Take a Stand” is another song that inspires hope against the oppressiveness of a country that doesn’t care about its citizens.
The 12th song on the album “Robots And Mannequins” keeps the resistance going as it talks about using all your free cash to buy shit we don’t need to become a conformed society that cares more about the stuff they own then their own liberties or happiness.
“Drowning” is a bit more of a straightforward song about living a life of never having enough money to pay bills and keep ahead of debts and actually build financial stability. Basically, I think most of America can relate to this song, and it is definitely relevant to touring musicians and bands in general.
“Carry Your Weight” is a great song about telling it how it is. Basically, if your world is shitty, the first place you should look is at yourself to see how you can fix it and how you might be causing the problems around you. It’s an anthem to personal responsibility that doesn’t mince words.
The penultimate song “Corpses” is another shredder. “We’re all corpses now,” is the refrain that will get a whole crowd singing, for sure.
Last but not least, “Hypocrites” ends the album with another song that fights back against the misinformation in the media, the bullshit fed to the American people by the government, and how, “Liberty, it won’t mean nothing when all of the voices die.” If we don’t speak up, fight back, and get our shit together, then we will definitely resign ourselves to a controlled life. But if we fight the hypocrites, we can take back the power for the people.