Society’s Ills – Adversity

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

Society's Ills

Adversity - Self Released

Regardless of how straight forward Society’s Ills’ brand of straight up punk rock remains, the Montreal four-piece continues to deliver their catchy brand of sloppy gutter punk.  Their second full length, Adversity, remains loosely melodic and overwhelmingly raw, much in the same vein of The Sainte Catherines or early Hot Water Music.  Those familiar with their self-titled debut will know exactly what to expect, as there are no surprises with Society’s Ills this time around either.

 As “Pont Champlain” roars open under the guidance of a rumbling bass, the track sets Adversity’s relentless tone.  The combination of rushing guitars and vocal aggression makes for a merciless ride that continues a track later with “All The Same’s” blistering mid-song solo.  Compared with their previous effort, the compositions feel fuller and more fleshed out.  Take the catchy gang vocals that afford “That’s How It Goes” or “Tour Song” with a sing along chorus – it’s a tough go creating something so rough stand out in the moment, let alone stick to memory.  Other high points include the title track, “Fool’s Errand” and “Generation.”  Really though, all the songs serve their purpose, even those that admittedly leave less of a mark like “Ghost Story” and “The Fire.”  

Lyrically, Adversity holds up well enough, although The Naj’s sloppy slurs ensure that melodies will receive more attention than words.  But those curious about the accompanying need only flip open the accompanying lyric sheet to quell their curiosity.  Songs like “That’s How It Goes” explore a sense of purpose through philosophy, while those like “The Fire” poetically explore the internal panic of one’s final, inescapable moments of life.  While not terribly profound, each topic is far from mindless or inconsequential and smart with word choices.

The worst that can be said about Adversity is that it’s more of a grower than an instant attachment.  It might take a few listens for some of the tacks to define themselves, but as was the case with their self-titled album, so it’s hardly a point of concern.  Society’s Ills has carved out a comfortable niche in Montreal punk scene.  Provided that the quartet continues this promising career trajectory, they’re sure to pick up fans and expand their influence with each passing release.