The Revisions – Revised Observations

The Revisions
Revised Observations

Revisions is made of cats from bands tearing it up in Portland: Justin Maurer from the Clorox girls, Douglas Burns of the Observers and Red Dons, Hajji Husayn from Clorox Girls and Red Dons and Richie Joachim from The Speds (a band which Burns was once a part of as well). Not only do they have original songs, they also play some cuts originally played by Observers and The Speds. Who knew that such incest could create such a solid acoustic-punk band? Revised Observations is stripped down to punk’s most basic elements and it’s all played on acoustic guitars. Regardless, its one of the most punk records I’ve heard in a long time.

I’ll start this off talking about my favorite song on the album, “No Wars”. This is by far one of the best protest songs I’ve heard in a really long time. The lyrics are just plain brilliant and the emotion is deeply felt thanks to the song being dominated by a violin and cello. Listening to it for a second time, I realized how much Douglas Burns’ vocals evoke a more youthful Greg Graffin. “Lead Pill” the opener is a good introduction to the record as it is sort of an amalgamation of what you will find on the rest of the record. Upbeat acoustics, a little piano here and there, and harmonizing vocals. The only problem would have to be the length. It is the longest song on the album and it feels as such.

The anticipation at the beginning of “Where I Stay” lead me to believe the group were going into a distorted sound, but of course this is an acoustic band. Still, the energy of a band playing distorted guitars was there, sometimes even more so. “Breathe Again” is another upbeat song with a little piano that adds more than it lets up. It’s simple, yet effective. “On the Lam” is a fun little song with a catchy-as-hell chorus. It could have easily been a pretty hardcore song had it been played on distorted guitars, but I’m not complaining.

“Out of Reach” is a snot nosed punk song if there ever was one. This is one very reminiscent of the Ramones with a fun sing-along chorus: “We don’t care what you’re talking about/We don’t care what you have to say”. I love it. “Empty House”, though filled with good ideas and solid vocal work, feels a little out of place. Besides the “Outro” the last full song “Walk Alone” is just plain awesome. It has a really cool little piano line peppered throughout and the lyrics are very political.

Revisions has made one of the best punk albums I’ve heard in years. I’ve recently reviewed other punk albums, but this one is taking the cake above those in recent memory. And the strange part is that this album is the only one that’s all acoustic. Seek these guys out and you will not be disappointed.