Reunited in 2015 after an 8 year hiatus, Chicago’s MUCH THE SAME continues carrying the torch of aggressive, melodic skate punk. Much The Same now celebrates its 20-year anniversary and guitarist Dan O’Gorman’s recent victory over cancer by releasing their third full-length album ‘Everything is Fine’, their first release since 2006. facebook.com/muchthesame
500 x Digisleeve CDs
200 x Transparent Light Blue Vinyl w/ Opaque Blue Cloudy effect
Punk Rock Theory [Belgium]
MUCH THE SAME – Everything Is Fine
Thirteen long years after the release of their sophomore album ‘Survive’, Chicago’s Much The Same are back and waste exactly zero seconds to get right down to business on opening track ‘Burner,’ which more than lives up to its title. Following guitarist Dan O’Gorman’s struggles with cancer and divorce, the band bonded again over their mutual love for punk rock and well… everything is once again fine. And it shows on their new album. With their classic 90ies punk rock sound that is as uptempo and energetic as it is melodic and chock-full of catchy riffs very much intact, these guys reflect on everything they have been through the last couple of years over the course of nine completely badass songs that range from poppier cuts like ‘You Used To Have A Garden’ and the lightning-fast ‘Haunted’ and ‘Homecoming’ to the moving acoustic that is ‘In The Event Of…’. Equal parts No Use For A Name, Pulley and Craig’s Brother. All Much The Same. Review by: Tom Dumarey 8/10
Sound The Sirens [Belgium]
MUCH THE SAME – Everything Is Fine
Chicago skate punk outfit Much the Same reunited after an 8-year hiatus in 2015, and while the landscape of skate punk has dramatically changed since their initial run in the mid-2000s, the band have found consistency with sticking to what they do best. And what they do best is up-tempo, melodicore that they cut their teeth with on their earliest releases. Now four years after their reformation, their first full length since 2006’s Survive finds them treading on familiar territory. Initially, that may sound like a negative, but as you listen to Everything is Fine, you find that their brand of up-tempo punk remains as fresh and energizing as it was during their initial run. Much the Same released a terrific Lagwagon cover in 2018- a cover of one of my favorite Lagwagon songs “Making Friends”. The original is a mid-tempo, fuzzed-out grungy song, but Much the Same paint their version with blazing speed, forgoing the slower pace for the kind of skate punk melodics they’re known for. It’s the Much the Same M.O. and Everything is Fine is exactly that. What is immediate is the production quality of the record; it’s got a crisp, full sound that adds texture to the record; a vast improvement to the recordings of their earlier work. That work continues the quality they showed from their Lagwagon cover, showcasing their love for melody, machine-gun percussions, soaring vocals, and some great guitar work. Much the Same love their guitar solos, and in a world bereft of them, it’s fantastic to hear them rip through plenty- from the roaring opener “Burner”, to the wistful sounding “Man Of Science Man Of Faith”. What makes Everything is Fine a rewarding listen is the record’s pressing attitude towards melodic punk. They’ve taken cues from mid 90s heavyweights like Millencolin and No Use for a Name, while occasionally taking the melancholic route to songs about despair and uncertainty. Songs like “Homecoming” have a certain weightlessness to them, even when they sing of heavy introspection; “Cause you can’t walk away from those things flowing through your veins / So sail away, straight in the grey / Failure’s where best lessons have been taught“. It’s this ability to sing and talk about life’s heavy burdens without it being a burden to listen to that makes much of the album connect. Unlike bands like The Wonder Years and their ilk, Much the Same have been through the same trenches, but fill their records with a hopefulness- no matter how transient it is. The record closes with the terrific “Passengers”. It’s an unforgettable closing, a little Swellers-esque, but distinctly Much the Same, and a perfect bow to an already great outing. Everything is Fine is a record that holds its own against the best of what No Use For a Name and The Swellers did, and through repeated listens you’ll be able to find just rewards. While Much the Same were cut from a mold seemingly long gone, they are proof that it is by no means forgotten.
Review by: Billy Ho
26 July 2019
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CAT #: PCD076 / PV023
Music and Lyrics by: Dan O’Gorman with Frank Tsoukalas, Chris McGrath, and Jevin Kaye
Recorded, produced, and Mixed by: Nick Diener at Oneder Studios in Chesaning, MI.
Drums Recorded by: Scott Hallquist at Validus Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA.
Additional Engineering by: Mark Michalik
Mastered by: Jay Maas