Artist: The Henry Clay People
It’s been a good summer for punk rock. Bands like Japandroids, Deer Tick, and to a lesser extent, Gentleman Jesse are proving that hard rock as a relevant sound is far from over. In the incredible heat of this July, The Henry Clay People have released a punk rock album that is at once nostalgic and fresh. Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives is an exuberant, fast-paced proclamation that punk rock, while it may not change the world, can at least change the mood in the room.
The Henry Clay People have been making music for roughly a decade now and it shows in their sound. Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives is tightly written and expertly carried out. Rather than go down the path of awkwardly lo-fi sounds or overly produced tracks, the band sticks to the traditional punk rock formula with short, loud, energetic sounds that still sound crisp and clear when cranked up in your headphones. Despite the album’s brevity, the songs themselves are nicely varied. Unlike the songs of lesser punk rock artists, there is a real sense of craft in each track here. Rather than simply repeating the same quick chords over and over, Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives explores a number of different sounds and tempos.
The Henry Clay People clearly borrow from 90’s punk rock and college bands like Archers of Loaf and Built to spill and fans of those bands will find much on Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives that sounds familiar, but The Henry Clay People aren’t simply resurrecting the past. This album feels fresh and relevant, as much of a protest against the trend towards weepy, navel-gazing music as it is a protest against the loss of youth.
If you need a quick injection of punk rock in your life, or just a change of pace from the rest of the indie field, Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives will deliver just the medicine you need.