'Viva La Resistance' is Hate Gallery's second album and according to the press release, it 'deals with the struggle to maintain our freedom in 2011 as we struggle against surveillance, mind control, fear-mongering and the steady march into totalitarianism.' So it is a disc of protest songs then? Great.
'Viva La Resistance' is a collection of punky, rocked-up groovers that zip along with the righteous anger of an irate hamster. It's all very earnest and worthy but if you can get past the impotent rage, you will find that this is an album that actually shunts like a bastard.
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With only the slower 'The Becoming' putting the brakes on mid-album, the droning momentum of the title track, 'The Warning', 'Rats' and '2 Minute Hate' carries the album ever deeper into the badlands of screaming futility. Mercifully, the final tracks, 'Love Shine On' and 'Salvation' not only offer eventual relief from the buzz saw attack but also a crumb of hope for our collective futures. Phew, that's all right then.
I suspect that this lot, despite the right-on attitude, will eventually become absorbed by the same machine that did for the likes of Mr Rotten and Iggy Pop. The only question is: what will Hate Gallery end up advertising? A natty line in mobile phone ringtones possibly, or how about gentlemen's sanitary products? No? Oh well.
So there you go, another slice of agit rock for the masses. Says Janne Jarvis, Hate Gallery's bass player, vocalist and all-round agit guy, "our freedom is slowly being corroded by the most Machiavellian of dark forces with a supporting role being played by the murderous, corrupt police forces around the world. 'Viva La Resistance' is an anthem for the disaffected and the disillusioned. A call to arms. Essentially we will all have to fight back one day." Yes, don't we fucking know it and I'm sure we will, but a disc of punk Metal will not be of much help will it?
This sort of stuff is annoying because it is a waste of time and energy: no one is going to listen to it unless it gets the Christmas No 1 slot. Not beyond the realms of possibility granted, but highly unlikely nonetheless.
The spirit of rock'n'roll may be about rebellion and opposition but, and you can trust me on this, it is nowhere near as effective as an AK47 set to full automatic. Further, it is all very well dedicating the album to those who have died at the hands of the police, but people need to remember that it's not what you have or have not done that gets you killed, it's the getting caught that does the damage. So don't get caught!
Decent as it is, 'Viva La Resistance' probably won't topple governments, but it will damn well annoy the neighbours - and that makes it good enough for me.