The Dutchies from Antillectual have been delivering their political message through melodic hardcore punk songs for quite some years now. And if the band’s new album is anything to go by, they aren’t about to slow down just yet. Well, figuratively speaking because they do slow down occasionally on “Engage!”.
“Engage!” comes with a dozen new songs that range from the fast and the furious “” to the more radio-friendly, Foo Fighter-esque “I Wrote This Song”. These dudes are still heavily influenced by the skatepunk bands of yesteryear, but they will just as well slow things down a notch in tracks like “Follow That Bike” and “Appetite For Construction”, both of which come with a strong BoySetsFire vibe. Goes to show that it’s perfectly possible to couple a strong positive message to a catchy melody. Speaking of BoySetsFire, Nathan Gray contributes some guest vocals to “The Players & The Game”, while Strike Anywhere’s Thomas Barnetts pops up elsewhere on the album.
The one thing that bugs me about “Engage!” are the lyrics. The band relies a bit too heavily on platitudes and sloganeering. I mean, if you are going to address issues like racism in your songs, I would prefer lines that dig a little deeper than ‘respect existence or expect resistance’. Musically though, things are about as tight as they can get, making “Engage!” a thoroughly enjoyable album.