Trashed Ambulance Brings Back the Great Punk Sound of the Late 90’s on Future Considerations
4.6 out of 5 stars
Set to be released on Thousand Islands Records this Friday (July 8th, 2022), it is a showcase of all the great punk rock music from the 90’s and early 2000’s.
I could easily say this is a great mix between Face to Face, NOFX, Sum 41 and maybe throw in some of The Ataris as well.
Musically, they fit more in the late 90’s pop-punk scene quite easily. Think of NOFX’s Pump Up The Valium era punk.
The first song on the album is “56” which is a good starter song as it has both energy (as if the rest don’t? - ha) and a lot of fast instrumentation with a seemingly endless amount of lyrics.
That’s sort of the overall idea of this album though. There are a lot of lyrics, and there really aren’t a lot of “catchy choruses” to sing along to.
However, that aside, the songs definitely have a lot of parts that are catchy and easy to sing to. It’s just not chock-full of repeated lines in any song.
“Menace” is a song about some self-reflection and a judgment on the dumbing down of society from what I can gather. The sentiment feels like that of “no matter how hard you try to succeed in life, there are just too many shitheads to get where you want to be.”
“Ecnalubma” (ambulance backwards) is a song heavy on nostalgia both in sound and lyrically.
The lyrics “Stories of our lives, power chords with all my friends…” is pretty much the sum of what it’s like to be in a punk rock band these days considering most punk bands are for people over 30.
On a side note, obviously, the name has something to do with the band name, but they also had a song called “Ambulance” come off their 2018 album Flashes of Competence.
I will say, I definitely think the band has evolved a much better sound over the past few years, and this is my favorite release to date.
“Stalk in the Park” is probably the most single-friendly song on the album. Though it is a bit of dark humor song about a drunk/drugged guy hitting on a woman (portrayed by Émilie Plamondon a.k.a. “Punk Roquette”) in a park where she just sees a wasted dude, but he thinks he has found the woman of his dreams. The song also features Robbie Morön (The Moröns) playing the cop who takes the drunk guy away as well.
“Bottleneck” is a breakneck fast song, and it brings Alex Goldfarb (Debt Neglector) onto the track to give him some edge during a verse (or maybe it’s a bridge…sometimes hard to tell as the song structure is not typical with this band).
“Blip On The Radar” is song more about the overmedication of the world but also about the stigmatization that comes from having to medication for such things as anxiety or stress. It’s a sick cycle of being sick, needing help, getting help, but getting pushed back down in a society that seems to thumb their noses at healthcare in general but especially psychiatric help.
These lines speak volumes:
The next song “Gumshoes” continues on that same sentiment as well. One part of that song that particularly cracks me up is the line, “You’ll never hear me say, ‘Get off my lawn’ Cuz dying old is no guarantee.”
I really like “Filtered” as it has one of the more singable choruses on the album. The overall sound is very melodic as well. It’s got a more sincere sentiment behind it (at least in parts). Also, one thing I will say is that drummer Riley Bourne blasts the shit out of the drums on this track (and the whole album) with a couple of rad rolls and fills.
I should also mention at this point that all three members of the band add vocals to the songs, but most of the songs are sung by guitarist Josh Hauta and bassist Jason Ezeard with Bourne providing gang vocals as needed.
The song “Hopeless” cracks me up as well. It’s by far the slowest SINGING song on the album (not to say it is slow by any means though), but it is all about a buddy who abandons his friends for a woman, and how they always have to pick up the pieces after he gets dumped.
The last song on the album “Next Door To Nothing” features Chris Kreuger (Bring On The Storm), and it is the longest and most technically diverse song on the album. It has a punk heart, but it is almost a bit folksy in parts, and it reminds me of a shortened version of NOFX’s “The Decline” (an 18 minute song about the decline of civilization in America). This is kind of like the Canadian counterpart of that song and only 1/3rd the length.
Overall, this album is absolutely awesome, and, in my opinion, a HUGE step up musically for the band. I can’t imagine any punk fan NOT liking this album.