The Copyrights Make Triumphant Return After Long Lapse with Alone in a Dome

4.7 out of 5 stars

If you have never heard of The Copyrights, then you have missed out on one of the better punk rock groups over the last 20 years or so, and while they haven’t really broken into any sort of mainstream fame, a lot of punk fans will know this Illinois-based punk rock band.

They decided to release their first album in 7 years - titled Alone in a Dome, and they got the backing of Fat Wreck Chords for this one (previously had only released an EP in 2014 on the label).

This album comes smashing right out of the gates with “Part of the Landscape” which has the titular line “alone in a Bucky dome” in the lyrics. This song has a lot of post-apocalyptic sentiment in it, and it references two types of architecture that I had to actually acquaint myself with in order to understand what was actually going on here. The Bucky dome was a “home of the future” that looks like Epcot center (based on the geodesic dome) and the Eichler home is a California-style home that notably has glass walls and is more modern simplistic.

So, when the lyrics talk about the subject of the song going from idealistic to materialistic and from being on top to becoming a regretful recluse, it uses these two types of architecture as a scale. Pretty interesting if you ask me.

The song itself is relentless in its full-throttle sound, and opens with a very cool guitar riff that is a killer opener for an album or live show.

The next song on the album, “Halos” is just a great fucking song. One line basically sums up the sentiment of the song, “There's no place out there for pacifists.” Basically, if you aren’t in the fight for justice, then you are getting shit on.

There is a bit of an attitude towards defeatism in some of the songs notably “Stuck in the Winter” and “Pretender” - one about what living in a place that has shitty winters (which I know a thing about having lived in North Dakota for like 10 years) and the latter about trying not to pretend to be happy when things aren’t okay in a relationship.

There are overarching themes in many of the songs that talk about love but also living in a Midwest city that you yearn to escape.

The song “On Division” reminds me of “9th at Pine” by Less Than Jake and “I’m Dying Tomorrow” by Alkaline Trio in that it harkens to the band’s roots/hometown.

Of course, The Copyrights still talk about living in their hometown of Carbondale, Illinois which is made clear on a couple of instances on the album “Before Midnight” has an intro from what sounds like a late 70’s or early 80’s comedy skit about a Russian spy satellite giving a cancer to a cow in Carbondale, Illinois. I am not sure who the speaker is, but it sounds like it could be anyone from Jackie Gleason to David Brenner. 

All the songs on this album are up-tempo, and sometimes you can’t even tell that one song has ended and another has started, because they songs just start from what seems like the middle of the song half the time. It’s quite impressive to hear the sequence of how they put the album together too.

If you like punk music, you are almost guaranteed to like this album, and if you are a fan of The Copyrights, you will REALLY like this album. Intelligent writing mixed with pop-punk up-tempo hooks and chord progressions will get you pumped for all 30 minutes of the album.

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