Garrison – Be a Criminal

Be a Criminal

Bear with me for just a minute, please. This will eventually make sense. At least I hope it will …
Picture the band Garrison as a blank Mr. Potato Head doll: just the potato, with no face or limbs. Laying next to this musical Mr. Potato Head is a pile of eyeballs, arms, legs, noses, hats, ears, and so on. Now, take the potato and add some black Doc Martin’s for a bit of the dark, stomping sound of a band like Quicksand. Then, give it flailing arms, capable of the screeching guitar work and spastic rhythmic experimentation of someone like At the Drive-In. Next, Mr. Potato Head needs a few tattoos, preferably of sexy ladies, which will help him achieve the edgy punk-rock sound of a band like Face to Face. Lastly, we give our little man a t-shirt with the eye-catching logo of any popular skate or surfboard company, to give him just a touch of that oh-so-trendy melodic pop-punk appeal. Then, you let this little bastard go into the studio and cut a record. The result would be something like Garrison’s Be a Criminal.
A Boston four-piece with a penchant for crime and deviance, Garrison have been around since 1998, infecting people with their pissed off yet intelligent brand of punk rock. They take the best parts of multiple genres and craft them together in a sinister yet poppy fashion. And it doesn’t hurt that the fury of the band and the polish of the production blend together quite nicely. The first track, “Recognize an Opportunity,” is unrelenting in its off-kilter punk rock fury, and it raises the bar for the nine tracks that follow, which all seem to be up to the challenge. “AND I THINK I HEARD ABOUT IT ON THE RADIO!” You’ll just have to listen to understand. “Choose a Weapon” follows, proving that the first track wasn’t a fluke, with its intense, foot-stomping energy. Even more standard, straightforward punk songs like “Focus, Focus, Focus” and slower tracks like “Commit, Commit, Commit” don’t even come close to the brink of boredom. Those two tracks are also examples of the odd song titles that the band plays around with, while others include “Dump the Body,” “Catch Your Breath and Have a Cigarette,” and “Accept What You’ve Done, Accept Who You Are.” “I COULD POINT A FINGER, BUT I’D RATHER POINT A GUN!”
Anyway, you get the point. Be a Criminal is crisper and clearer than any of the band’s previous releases, but they continue with their dark and disturbing themes of everything from petty crime to crimes against all of humanity. This is the type of aggressive, loud punk-rock that will cause your parents to wonder about your sanity and how much of it you have left. But for you, this will be the type of listening experience that will have you pouncing around your room, air guitar in hand, screaming along.