The album’s first six tracks are from Platoon 1107, a band that describes itself as “patriotic, American, hardcore rock and roll.” While I might not agree with the rock and roll aspect of their description, the hardcore element is definitely present on all six tracks. The band, led by SMC vet and California resident Jimmy Sisco (a member of Absolved and Of Puritans and Lepers), has more of a punk-tinged style that borders on hardcore at times. All the songs clock in at less than two minutes each, save for the sixth one, “Separatist,” which is easily the best of the six, musically. The production lacks at times, particularly on the two openers, “Twenty Six Counts of Battery” and “For God, For Family, For Country.” While you can usually make out what the vocalist is singing (or yelling, as it were), the drums and cymbals drown out the rest of the musical content, leaving much to be desired. “American Patriot” clocks in at 44 seconds of actual musical content, and despite its quick nature, it’s one of the better of the six tracks. The lyrical content is focused primarily on political themes, including poking fun at some of those particular politicians on “Fools on Parade” and particularly “Separatist.”
Platoon 1107’s part of the EP is quickly over, and we dive into four tracks from The Cants. The songs are of similar length at the beginning to their EP counterparts, but musically, there is a lot more going on for this band. Embracing the hardcore/punk element as well, The Cants focus on more of a jam style than straight, in your face, raw punk. A little alternative and blues comes in on tracks like “A Misplaced Sentiment Brings the Date to an Abrupt End,” while “The Real Predicament for Any Body Snatcher is the Body” reminds you of something that might come from old MxPx demos. Unfortunately, the production value makes The Cants part of the EP suffer, too, but in a different way from Platoon 1107. Bass and guitar drown out the vocalist’s lyrics on all four tracks. The breakdowns on the last couple tracks make for some uniqueness when it comes to the punk scene, and the final track “Particle Man Takes a Look at the Unobservable Universe” finds the band experimenting with some interesting guitar work. It definitely works in their favor, and it’s a nice way to round out the album.
If it weren’t for the rough production on both sides of the EP, this could be so much better than it is. The Cants are a band that could definitely go somewhere past this EP, especially if they keep pushing the elements of punk and hardcore. I wouldn’t say the same thing about Platoon 1107, despite some glimmering moments throughout their six tracks. The EP as a whole is weak, but The Cants’ tracks make it worth a listen, and earn it an extra star.